Judges’ praise for vital Norfolk service

A vital service which is finding creative ways to help some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable families to overcome complex relationship and behavioural difficulties has been highly commended by a judges at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) awards.

The Compass Outreach Service, which is a partnership between NSFT, The Benjamin Foundation and Norfolk County Council, was named as a runner-up in the “partnership” category during the Trust’s Putting People First Awards. It picked up the commendation after working with more than 120 young people in the space of a year, as well as supporting four to return home from out-of-county placements.

Launched in April 2015, the service works with “looked after” children and those on the edge of care, and aims to improve the way different agencies work together so that those with the highest vulnerabilities do not fall between gaps in provision.

The team includes clinical psychologists, art and family therapists, assistant psychologists, family development workers and a social worker, who all work flexibly and tailor the support they offer so that it meets each family’s individual needs.

Nicki Bramford, Team Lead for Compass Schools and Outreach Service, Children, Families and Young People’s Service in Norfolk, nominated the team. She said: “Team Compass has gone above and beyond the call of duty, displaying a care and devotion to their work that has been recognised by the families and services alike. They place the child and family at the centre of all of their work, and look at their needs in a holistic and inclusive way.

“Despite facing numerous challenges consistent with the setup of a new service, Team Compass pulls together and tackles everything with enthusiasm and passion. They are incredibly committed and are building relationships to support and change the way we work with children in Norfolk.”

The team received their runners-up award during a ceremony in Sprowston on Thursday (5 May). In total, nine staff-nominated accolades were presented, along with two Public Choice awards, which gave service users and carers the chance to vote for their mental health heroes and say thank you publicly for the outstanding care they have received.

Michael Scott, NSFT Chief Executive, said: “The Compass project is a fantastic example of the difference which partnership working can make to people’s lives. By collaborating with colleagues from the council and the Benjamin Foundation, our staff are able to offer vulnerable families seamless access to flexible, holistic services which meet their individual needs.

“We are delighted that we have been able to publicly thank the Compass team and our other finalists for their hard work and commitment while celebrating their achievements at these awards.”

The awards were sponsored by media company Archant and Sprowston Manor.

To read NSFT’s special awards magazine, which gives details of all of the winners and runners-up, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk/insight