We are proud to reveal that Doncaster’s Mental Health Crisis Alternatives programme has been shortlisted in the Mental Health Innovation of the Year category at this year’s Health Service Journal Awards, recognising outstanding contribution to healthcare and earning the opportunity to showcase our achievements on a national platform.

A staggering 1067 entries were received for the HSJ Awards 2022, with 219 projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist (from across 162 organisations). The high volume - and exceptional quality – of applications is once again reflecting the breadth of innovation and care within the UK’s healthcare networks.

Now in its 42nd year, the HSJ Awards continue to provide an opportunity to shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements that individuals and teams across the sector deliver on a daily basis. Following the thorough judging process, the Doncaster team was shortlisted, ahead of the official awards ceremony to be held in November. Despite the tough competition, the Mental Health Crisis Alternatives programme stood out as a ‘success story’ worthy of a place on the panel’s shortlist. At this first stage of judging, the shortlist was based on ambition; outcome; value; involvement and working together and crucially, how the project might be “picked up” and replicated elsewhere for the benefit of both patients and professional colleagues.

The Doncaster programme was launched in 2019, bringing together many organisations across the public and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sectors to deliver pathways of care for those experiencing mental health crisis but not requiring clinical support. The team partnered with Doncaster Council, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber (RDaSH) NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) NHS Foundation Trust, the People Focused Group (PFG), Doncaster Mind and Open Minds Counselling to create a Crisis Alternatives Alliance.

Pathways have been developed across the services to ensure that people get the right care in a less restrictive environment, closer to home. Entry to the awards intended to shine a light on a good example of mental health service innovation, demonstrating the change culture across partnership working with a primary focus on service users.

The Alliance is tackling challenges such as the current demand on mental health services by reducing the number of people going to A&E and to the mental health crisis team for their needs, and instead provide them with the functional, personalised support they need closer to home.

Kayleigh Harper, Head of Strategy and Delivery, Mental Health for NHS South Yorkshire ICB in Doncaster, said: “Being shortlisted is wonderful news. The dedication that partners across Doncaster have invested in to transforming mental health crisis services within the community deserves recognition. The Alliance partners work extremely hard to ensure we can offer less restrictive, more functional, personalised support within a community setting, ensuring that the NHS has more capacity to support others with clinical needs.”

 HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, said: “On behalf of all my colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate NHS South Yorkshire and the team at Doncaster on being shortlisted. All the applications represent the ‘very best of the NHS’ and often leave our esteemed panel of judges with an impossible choice!”

The full list of nominees for the 2022 HSJ awards can be found at https://awards.hsj.co.uk/ alongside details of the Awards partners; https://awards.hsj.co.uk/partners

The selected winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Battersea Evolution Centre, London on 17 November 2022.

The judging panel was once again made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community, including; Sarah-Jane     Marsh (Chief Executive, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT); David      Probert (Chief Executive, University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust); Dr Bola Owolabi (Director Health Inequalities, NHS England and NHS Improvement); Eugine Yafele (Chief Executive, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust); Tracy Allen (Chief Executive Officer, Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust)