SEQOL, the social enterprise that delivers community health and adult social care in Swindon, has been highly commended in the employee innovation category of the national Philip Baxendale Awards.
The Philip Baxendale Awards are the UK’s major awards for recognising excellence in organisations that are owned by their employees.
Named after businessman Philip Baxendale, a pioneer of the employee-owned movement, the awards showcase best practice in the UK in the private sector as well as those that have spun out of the public sector.
Judges of the employee innovation category were looking at the most exciting examples of a new product or service that is the brainchild of one or more employees, rather than of management.
Pictured: from left, SEQOL staff with their Baxendale award – Liz Tregoing, Head of Practice Audit and Effectiveness, Di Blaker, Operational Coordinator, Bridget Leiblich, Operational Coordinator and Heather Mitchell, Chief Executive.
The highly commended award recognises that SEQOL’s front line staff are so innovative and ambitious for their clients that they are continually looking for ways to redesign and improve services they deliver for them.
Heather Mitchell, chief executive of SEQOL, said she was delighted that her colleagues’ determination and creativity was being recognised on the national stage.
“Within SEQOL we all know that colleagues are encouraged to think up new solutions to make our services more effective in helping clients make the most of their lives, but it’s very gratifying to be told that we’re up there with the best in the country,” said Heather.
“I am hugely proud of the many colleagues who have been dedicated and forward thinking enough to challenge themselves to find ways of doing things even better, to make a positive difference for clients.
"The people at the coal-face – who are working one-to-one with clients every day, and have the best idea of their needs and aspirations – are the right people to be doing the blue-sky thinking about how to improve our systems or procedures.
"It’s a testament to their professionalism that they feel confident and empowered to do just that, and I congratulate and thank every one of them.”
The judges were impressed by a number of innovations that SEQOL staff from different service areas have instigated, including the SEQOL Telehealth service which allows adults with learning disabilities to access the same mainstream support as patients without learning disabilities.
Other examples of innovation include DISA, a free online directory developed by staff to help local people access more information about support, and social workers’ development of new ways of working, to reduce waiting times for assessments for help and support for older people.