Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is delighted to announce that it is officially launching its Putting People First Awards 2016 to the public. For the first time ever, the Trust is offering members of the public and its patients the chance to give staff who work for NSFT the warmest pat on the back by nominating them for a special recognition award, to highlight the outstanding care and support they provide to local people. Creating the ‘Public Choice’ categories within its staff awards is part of the mental health trust’s commitment to listening even more closely to its services users and carers, and encouraging them to shape the organisation moving forward. NSFT Chief Executive Michael Scott explained: “We are really excited to be able to open up our awards to members of the public, as well as to people who have used our services, and those close to them. “We believe this is another way to gain feedback on what people really think about the care offered by our Trust. By hearing first hand about some of these examples of excellent local mental health care, we can hold these up like a mirror to the rest of our organisation, encouraging us all to follow that lead and better shape our services in the future. “We’d also like other organisations and people who work with us or alongside our staff to tell us who they think deserves recognition too. We’d love to hear from, for example, GPs, police officers, the ambulance trust, educators and the voluntary sector.” Michael explained another key part of the awards being open to the public was to give the 3,500 staff who work for NSFT the chance to hear the positive response to the hard work they put in. “It is extremely important to our staff to receive that praise and recognition; we know they are unfailingly hardworking and committed to their patients and their families, and to learning and developing to offer the very best care they can. “We also know that the praise that most counts is when it comes from those who have had their lives changed or improved, because a team or individual working for our Trust took the time to do their job to the best of their ability. So please, take the time to share your positive stories about the care you’ve received from those very committed people in our Trust.” The Trust has included two ‘Public Choice’ categories in its awards which people can nominate to, aimed at its adult or its children and young people’s services. • Outstanding Care & Compassion Award (Children’s, families and Young People) This could include nominations of NSFT teams and staff working in the children’s learning disabilities services, child and adolescent mental health services, wellbeing and perinatal and infant mental health services • Outstanding Care & Compassion Award (Adults) This could include nominations of NSFT teams and staff working in the community, within inpatient units, older people’s services including those for dementia, secure, learning disabilities and wellbeing services, as well as Norfolk Recovery Partnership “By sharing our stories of positive mental health care we are also helping to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around talking about mental health issues, which I think we’d all agree is something we all need to play our part in,” added Michael. The Trust is holding its awards celebration on Thursday, 5 May, at the venue sponsored by Sprowston Manor, near Norwich. During the evening the winners in all of the Trust’s awards categories will be announced, including Team of the Year, Emerging Talent, Inspirational Leader and Unsung Hero. Keep up with all the news on the awards website at www.nsftawards.co.uk or follow the Trust on facebook.com/NSFTrust or @NSFTtweets How to nominate: You can nominate any current member of NSFT staff, volunteer, team or service for an award if they have provided care or support to you or someone you know in the last 12 months (since January 2015). You can do this online at www.nsftawards.co.uk where you can also read all about the nominations and finalists in the coming weeks and find out more about the awards. Nominations are welcomed by no later than midnight on Monday 29 February, from: • People who have received care from NSFT • Someone close to a person who has received care from NSFT • From an organisation or individual working alongside our Trust who has witnessed excellent care provided by NSFT Just remember to select whether you wish to nominate someone working in adults or children’s, families and young people’s services. Alternatively, you can fill in a nomination form found at our centres of care, or other health and care locations around Norfolk and Suffolk, or request a hard copy of the form directly from us or request a hard copy nomination form by: • Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or • Calling 01603 421447 All hard copy forms can be returned to the Trust FREEPOST (details on the form).