15 March 2021

Staff within the Bedfordshire Community Health Services (BCHS) have won a regional award for their innovative work to create Integrated Discharge Hubs to serve the county.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards is an annual event held to celebrate NHS staff across all sectors and services ‘that ‘go above and beyond the call of duty to make the NHS a better service.’

MPs from across the nation nominate the NHS services and teams in their constituency they consider to have done outstanding work for their communities over the last year. 

As winners of the East of England Care and Compassion category, BCHS is now through to the final national awards round, the winners of which will be announced in the summer.  

On nominating the service, Rachel Hopkins MP for Luton South said: "BCHS deserve to be recognised nationally for their outstanding work.”

The service won the award for the work done to ensure that people can be quickly and efficiently 'stepped down' back into the community after leaving hospital - a particularly important, if challenging objective under current conditions. 

The creation of two Integrated Discharge Hubs to serve the people of Bedfordshire has made this a reality. 

Discharging patients out of hospital and then reviewing their ongoing health and social care needs in a different setting with the overarching aim of getting patients back to their normal place of residence requires a collaborative approach to care, involving many partners across many organisations.

BCHS has created opportunities to establish and develop partnership working with colleagues from both Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough Councils, as well as colleagues from the Bedfordshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

The success of the project has also relied upon the service working closely with the care homes across this area (Bedfordshire has one of the largest number of care homes in the country), to ensure support is offered to their newly admitted patients. 

This support has been vital as the care homes have had to find resilience in coping with the national response to COVID-19.

This collaborative approach to care, involving many partners across many organisations made it necessary to ensure there was senior leadership 'buy in' to the concept.

On winning the regional award, Trust Director of Community Services, Michael McGhee said:
'I'm delighted that colleagues in BCHS have been recognised for their hard work over the last year and this.
'The success of the Integrated Discharge Hubs has only been possible because of the hard work of everyone across all the organisations, and that includes the staff at Luton and Bedford hospitals, Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council. 

'Because of their dedication, a faster step down from hospital care to community support is possible, and with all the pressure that people are under at the present time, this makes such a massive difference to peoples' wellbeing.'

All regional winners are now in the running for the final national awards, to be announced on July 7th. To see the shortlist visit:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhs-parliamentary-awards/about/regional-winners/









East of England: Integrated Discharge Hubs, East London Foundation Trust