The NHS Wales Awards are a national showcase for excellence and celebrate good practice in delivering improved, high quality patient care across Wales. There are eight categories and each category has an independent judging panel. In the first round, the panel score all entries and shortlist three to go through to the second round of judging which takes place as a site visit.
We’ve grabbed a few minutes with Grant Evans, Senior Organisational Development Manager and NHS Wales Awards judge to hear more about what the role involves…
Q – What are the judges looking for in NHS Wales Awards entries?
A – At a basic level, judges are looking for applicants to have met specific criteria relating to each award category. Most applicants will meet the criteria so we quickly look beyond to try to gauge the increased levels of compassion and questioning of existing clinical or managerial practice to gauge the consequence of the clinical team’s intent. Clinical teams embark on change without fully knowing where it will take them, it’s a process of unknown exploration in which the intent provides the impetus that eventually shapes the patients improved experience of the service.
Q – What is the most memorable project you’ve visited?
A – Having judged for several years there are so many memorable projects to choose from. It’s a privilege to be a judge. Over the past two years I have visited a Mental Health team that has transformed its treatment of Dementia patients by identifying personal objects or symbols which substantially calmed anxiety. I have visited a ward whose staff demonstrated unbelievable compassion which transformed the lives of vulnerable women. Also, I met with a community healthcare team that dramatically improved the quality of life of a chronically ill patient by enabling her to move out of a secondary care setting in to her home towards the end of life.
Q – What is the benefit of entering?
A – Clinicians are delivering compassionate care each and every day. It’s hard work and can be a relentless process. The awards cause applicants to stop, reflect and write up their achievements. In this part of the process applicants frequently identify actions and consequences that they hadn’t previously seen. Then they share this with a team of impartial observers who provide some feedback and compare their work with other applicants. This raises the profile of their improvements both within their organisation and nationally. Recognition such as this is good for morale and the further development of a culture of improvement.