01 April 2011

Healthy success at innovation showcase

The work of AWP teams was praised by judges at a prestigious health exhibition in Bristol.

The Bristol Health Innovation Showcase was the first event from BRIG-H (Bristol Research and Innovation Group for Health), a partnership of universities and NHS trusts including AWP committed to improving people's health through collaborative research and innovation.

Bristol Active Life Project (BALP) achieved third place in the presentations and Bristol Autism Spectrum Service (BASS) was also highlighted for praise by the judges - a great achievement in a strong field of 31 presentations from Bristol's universities and NHS trusts.

AWP had a strong showing at the event, with five teams showcasing their innovation projects:

  • BALP (AWP Physiotherapy and Exercise Service and Bristol City Council)
  • Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Plugging the service gap (BASS and NHS Bristol)
  • Promoting Recovery: The journey back to work (Bristol Vocational Services and FareShare South West)
  • Mental Health Matters: Court Assessment and Referral Service (Criminal Justice Liaison Service and Offender  Health South West)
  • Improving Access: British Sign Language Recovery Plans (Bristol Deaf Mental Health Team and NHS Bristol)

The judging panel - which included chief executives and other senior figures from Bristol -  described BALP as "bridging the gap between physical and mental health" and "a really fantastic example of partnership working and doing something really innovative". The project works in partnership with people who experience severe and enduring mental illness by enabling them to improve their own health through sport and exercise in community facilities.

Executive medical director and director of strategy Arden Tomison was proud that so many AWP innovations were on show.  He said: "It was wonderful to see five excellent AWP innovations up alongside other health organisations, not only holding their own but being placed in the awards and being very positively referenced by the judges."

The day, held at UWE, also included a health innovation challenge event, bringing together scientists, researchers, clinicians, patient representatives and others to generate new ideas and facilitate collaborations and initiatives to improve health in the city.

The BRIG-H partners are: AWP, the University of Bristol, University of the West of England, North Bristol NHS Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, in association with Bristol City Council, NHS North Somerset, and NHS South Gloucestershire.

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