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Solent Side-by-Side network scoops two People Partnership Awards

Solent’s patient representative network, Side-by-Side, has won two award categories at the Patient Experience in Quality Improvement Awards, hosted by NHS Elect in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Attending the conference in London, two representatives from the group collected awards in the Community Health Provider categories for Patient Experience and Communications, and Excellent Teamwork.

Side-by-Side member, Mary Ramsay, and Solent’s Clinical Lead for Dementia, Kate Legg, picked up the Excellent Teamwork award for a project that looked at improving nutrition and eating on an older person’s mental health ward. Led by Mary, the project introduced the use of coloured plates and involved a strong collaboration between patients, families, residents and all staff, including the catering teams. Speaking at the awards in London, Mary said:

“I am really thrilled to have received the award which reflects the belief Solent has in the patient’s voice and making a difference.”

Paula Tyler, who is a mum of two boys diagnosed with Autism, has been working on improving access to care with our services, and collected the Patient Experience and Communications award on behalf of a group of patient and carer representatives. The group was recognised for their co-design and delivery of a training package aimed at helping patients and families to get involved in improvement work. In response to the award and the impact that the co-design project has had, Paula said:

“I’ve really grown in confidence…I never imagined I’d be standing on a stage presenting to so many people, and being nominated for an award and then winning! It’s amazing!”

The Solent Academy of Research and Improvement is dedicated to ensuring the patient voice is at the heart of improvement work, by supporting teams working in partnership with patients, families and communities. Associate Director for Research and Improvement, Dr Sarah Williams notes:

“Services need to be designed around the needs of people who use them. Which means it’s incredibly important that we make it easy for patients, families and communities to be involved in how we deliver our care.

We have a big network of people wanting to work alongside us and we will always be so grateful for their partnership and input. To have some of these partners not only talk about our work at a national event, but also win awards is wonderful. I hope this helps them realise how much impact they are having and how much we value their friendship. We are really looking forward to the celebration back at home with the whole team.”

For more information about Patient Engagement and Quality Improvement please visit the Join In Toolkit, and if you would like to get involved, email:


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