After a nail-biting online ceremony on Wednesday 17 March, Sheffield Psychology Board narrowly missed out on scooping an award for System Leadership Initiative of the Year at the 2020 Health Service Journal Awards.

The Board was selected as a finalist despite the tough competition from over 1000 entries. They were selected based on their ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that their project has had on patient and staff experiences within the health and social care sector. 

The winners of the award were West Yorkshire & Harrogate Care Partnership for increasing the diversity of their leadership to better serve our communities in West Yorkshire.

The judging panel was made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including: Sir Bruce Keogh, Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT; Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, Black Country Healthcare FT; and Caroline Beardall, Director of Workforce and OD, NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East.

Sheffield Psychology Board was selected as a finalist for their system leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked across the healthcare system in the city to help as many people as possible access psychological help. The board worked with incident command structures in Sheffield hospitals and in the community services to get mental and physical health services to work together to help more people.

The board works with the voluntary sector, public health professionals, health commissioners and education providers. It did research at the beginning of the pandemic to find out how the new challenges were impacting on people in the city, it then used this information to target specific groups and produce tailored materials.  Some of the groups the board supported were front line NHS and Social Care staff and key workers in supermarkets, care homes, crematoria. They also targeted specific population groups such as people with a learning disability, BAME communities, children, young people and their families, and staff working in schools.

Speaking on behalf of the board, Dr Linda Wilkinson, Director of Psychological Services at Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust & Dr Johann Labuschagne, Head of Department of Psychological Services at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said; “We were delighted to have been shortlisted for the System Leadership Initiative of the Year at the 2020 HSJ Awards, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our colleagues. It has been a tremendous boost to staff working across all of our organisations, including voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, public health, Sheffield Flourish and Sheffield Universities. We are sure it will build on our continued efforts to have a joined-up approach to health care in Sheffield.”