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'Beacon of excellence' psychological team wins prestigious national award

This article is more than five years old.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Integrated Psychological Medicine Service team won a prestigious Psychiatric Team of the Year award at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards on Wednesday (7 November 2018).

The annual awards, which mark the highest level of achievement within the field of psychiatry, were presented by BBC TV presenter Victoria Derbyshire. The Trust's chairman, Dame Fiona Caldicott, also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the same ceremony.

The Integrated Psychological Medicine Service team scooped the award in the non-age specific category.

The team was praised for delivering a novel way of providing psychiatric and psychological care to people who are physically ill.

The judges said: "Comprehensive healthcare must meet the patients' mental as well as physical health needs.

"The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Integrated Psychological Medicine Team is a unique and innovative service that breaks down the barrier between the mind and the body.

"The team is fully integrated into the general hospital team where it performs important clinical and educational roles.

"It is valued by patients, carers and hospital colleagues, and has been highlighted as a beacon of excellence."

Rather than having separate medical and mental health teams - a common set-up for psychiatry teams at general hospitals - the Trust has integrated joined-up teams that include experts in mental as well as physical healthcare.

Having a joined-up team to oversee both areas of care means patients' needs can be addressed more effectively. This approach removes traditional barriers between physical and mental healthcare, and enhances the level of care the Trust provides.

Professor Michael Sharpe, Trust Lead for Psychological Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals, said: "The Trust should be congratulated for having had the vision to build care around patients' needs; making psychiatrists and psychologists part of medical teams means that the Trust can meet all of its patients' needs, physically and mentally.

"Members of the Integrated Psychological Medicine team do terrific work, not only delivering innovative and integrated clinical services, but also do cutting-edge research and delivering high quality teaching.

"I am proud of all my NHS and University of Oxford colleagues who work well together to deliver real excellence in all these areas."

The Psychological Medicine team members not only see patients, but also advise and support clinical staff.

The overall aim is to transform the range and quality of care that clinicians can provide to their patients.

The service comprises approximately 40 clinical psychologists and 12 consultant psychiatrists, as well as nurses, occupational therapists, and clerical staff.

Pictured: From left, OUH Consultant Psychiatrists and Psychologists David Okai, Ian Baker, Helen Griffiths, Isabel Paz, Jane Walker and Karen Steinhardt; Mark Toynbee, Trainee Psychiatrist and DPhil student at University of Oxford; Michael Sharpe, OUH Lead for Psychological Medicine and Dame Fiona Caldicott, OUH Chairman.