whg shortlisted for top healthcare award

  • 5th December 2022

  • Awards Corporate news Stronger Communities

Leading Midlands’ landlord whg has been shortlisted for a national healthcare award for its work to tackle health inequalities in one of the most deprived areas of the country.

The housing association has been named a finalist in the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023, after teaming up with health partners to ensure disadvantaged communities’ needs are more widely understood and met. They have been shortlisted in the Best Not for Profit Working in Partnership with the NHS category for their collaboration with Walsall Together and the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB).

Operating largely in Walsall, one of the 20% most deprived districts in England, whg customers are disproportionally impacted by diabetes, childhood obesity, smoking, heart disease, stroke and mental health illness, often resulting in early death. Through partnership working, health services have benefitted from the expertise of whg in engaging with local communities and targeting those most at risk of poor health more effectively. It is making a huge difference in improving outcomes for residents, focussing upon prevention and early take up of services to effectively screen for, or manage, illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. It is also successfully diverting residents from clinical services and relieving the burden on the NHS when it is clear that the issue is also ‘social’ and not just medical.

Fay Shanahan, Corporate Director of Operations, said: “Our work with Walsall Together and the Black Country ICB is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when health and housing organisations collaborate to create healthier, more resilient local communities.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award and showcase the role that social housing can play to reduce health inequalities and close the widening health gap.”

Michelle McManus, Director of Transformation and Place Development for Walsall Together, said: “We are delighted that whg has been shortlisted for this award. They are a significant and valued member of our partnership and are fundamental in helping us reach some of our most vulnerable citizens who experience the poorest health outcomes.”

Taps Mtemachani, Director of Transformation and Partnership for NHS Black Country ICB, said: “This is a well-deserved accolade for our partners at whg who have worked with NHS partners to deliver a genuinely innovative and meaningful service for some of our most vulnerable and underserved communities.

“The ICB is committed to continuing the work of our partnership to address wider determinants of health for the benefit of our Black Country population.”

whg currently has two services funded by the NHS that are aimed at improving health promotion and disease prevention through early intervention that also addresses social determinants and health inequity. The first is a Kindness Champions Service, which works directly in communities tackling loneliness and isolation; an issue that has been recognised as being exacerbated by the pandemic. The second is a two year Diabetes Health Champions Service. This service is specifically designed to work preventively within communities which have an increased risk of diabetes and less take up of health services.

The winners will be selected following a rigorous judging stage ahead of the awards ceremony. The awards evening is expected to be attended by national healthcare leaders and professionals from both the NHS and private sector as well as figures from non-clinical backgrounds to celebrate innovation and collaboration in healthcare.

The full list of nominees for the 2023 HSJ Partnership Awards can be found here.

The selected winners will be announced at Evolution London on 23 March 2023.

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