26 October 2022

The winning team collect their award

The Innovation Agency and partners have won an award at the prestigious HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

The winning project aims to tackle a shortage of psychological professionals in the NHS and provide a new career gateway for psychology graduates.

The first 50 trainee associate psychological practitioners – TAPPs – graduated earlier this year and a second cohort of around 90 trainees is studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) while working in NHS organisations across the North West.

The submission, 'Delivering a mental health prevention and promotion service within primary care networks with a new workforce supply of psychological practitioners' won the Primary Care Initiative of the Year category, in one of the biggest NHS awards events of the year.

The entry was submitted by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of a collaboration of the Innovation Agency, North West primary care networks, the three North West Integrated Care Systems, Health Education England North West and UCLan.

Dr Gita Bhutani, National Development Lead Psychological Professions Network and Director for Psychological Professions at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS FT, said: “We’re delighted to have won the award.

“It is real recognition for the new role we’ve developed across the North West and the difference our Associate Psychological Practitioners make to people seeking help for mild mental health difficulties, as well as increasing capacity in the NHS.

“This project would not have been possible without the input and support of the trust and partner organisations including Health Education England in the North West, Health Education England, the Innovation Agency, University of Central Lancashire and the North West Psychological Professions Network.”

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