18 Sep 2015

Ground-breaking Mental Health Team Partnership nominated for national award

The Converge and The Discovery Hub partnership between York St John University and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as a finalist at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The annual HSJ Awards are a celebration of the excellence, endeavour, innovation and inspiration that is found within the healthcare profession. The partnership service between York St John University and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted from over 1,600 entries for the Acute, Community and/or Primary Care Services Redesign award.

Converge and The Discovery Hub services offer guidance on recovery and education within a university environment to people who use mental health services in the York area.

The Converge service offers high quality educational courses, taught by both students and University staff in sports/exercise, business start-up, psychology, music, theatre, dance, fine art, creative writing and life coaching. The service also runs a choir and a theatre company, Out of Character. In the last 12 months, 260 people completed these courses supported by 93 University students.

Building on the development of Converge, The Discovery Hub supports service users to make steps beyond health services and the University to access the local community. It coordinates information about learning opportunities across the city and surrounding area and supports people to access them. The service employs three Peer Support Workers, all of whom have lived mental health experience and works closely with University students to research appropriate resources available in the city and create easy access to networks across the local community.

Dr Nick Rowe, Associate Professor and Director of Converge at York St John University, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. It is recognition of the value of our partnership with the NHS and all the work that so many staff and students have put into the project.”

Jill Copeland, Chief Operation Offer, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for this collaborative service to be recognised nationally. These educational services make a real difference in the lives of people who use mental health services and provide an opportunity for university students to enhance their employability with real world experience.”

The winner will be announced at the HSJ Awards ceremony on Wednesday 18 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.