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Side-by-Side approach to continuous improvement celebrated in national awards

Patient and people involvement network, Side-by-Side, alongside the Academy’s audit, improvement and participation teams have received the 2023 Clinical Audit Heroes Patient and Public Involvement award, for their ongoing work and commitment to ensuring patient involvement in continuous improvement to NHS services.

The award is part of the Clinical Audit Heroes awards which are a key part of the Clinical Audit Awareness Week; a national campaign spearheaded by Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and the National Quality Improvement (including Clinical Audit) Network (N-QI-CAN).

The Side-by-Side group was recognised for the variety of support they provide, from supporting organisational audit and improvement plans, co-delivering training supporting improvement projects, reviewing reports, being part of interview and award panels, as well as working alongside the Academy to shape our strategy, inform future development and host our Annual Conference. The judges were particularly impressed with their involvement in co-leading and advising on future audits; helping to support and impact long term change within the Trust. They also liked the fact that training was made available for patients to be involved, and said that they look forward to hearing more about the work of this project going forward.

Side-by-Side members Sarah Rowcliffe, Juliet Mosley and Sian LLoyd-Jones were able to join the virtual ceremony and receive the award on behalf of the wider network:

"I am delighted that the Side-by-Side Partnership has won this prestigious award. Everyone involved is so positive about patient participation and it is enjoyable and rewarding to be part of the team."

"Side-by-Side is a fantastic, constantly evolving, team with each person highly valued in bringing their skills, strengths, and experiences to a variety of settings. How wonderful to receive an award that recognises the importance of people participation, I hope it will encourage other organisations to do the same."

"Since starting with Side-by-Side last year, I have been given every opportunity to get stuck in and add the patient voice to the excellent work being done within the Academy. I value the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, and to feel part of a motivated and effective team. I have been offered training in topics of interest to me, and have co-produce training for others. I am part of the report feedback group, and have enjoyed learning about projects going on within the trust, and providing constructive feedback. These activities all help to embed the relevance of the patient perspective in delivering high quality healthcare. Side-by-Side is going from strength to strength."

Within Solent NHS Trust we use Clinical Audit as a way of checking if services meet local and/or national standards by looking at data. It lets us and our patients know where services are doing well, and where there could be improvements. The standards we use in Clinical Audit come from local policies as well as national guidance such as those from the National Institute for Clinical and Healthcare Excellence (NICE).

Jane Ingham, Chief Executive of Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, said:

"Without clinical audit, there would be no intelligence on which to evidence the success of NHS services and track the differences that improvement activities make."

Find out more about Clinical Audit Awareness Week and the Clinical Audit Heroes awards on the HQIP website and for more information about how you can be part of improvement within the Solent NHS Trust email the Academy team. You can also join in the celebrations on social media using #CAAW23.