A digitWe are regional winners for.pngal tool designed to support care for autistic people and those with intellectual disabilities has been shortlisted for a national award.

Developed by staff at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), the Dynamic Support Database - Clinical Support Tool (DSD-CST) has been shortlisted in the ‘Future NHS’ category of the NHS Parliamentary Awards. The awards ceremony will be held in London on Wednesday 5 July, the NHS’ 75th birthday. The team will represent the north west in the category as the regional champion after five local MPs nominated the project.

The tool ensures data is constantly monitored for people who have been diagnosed with autism and people with intellectual disabilities and escalates their relative risk of admission to hospital. This importantly supports patient safety, helping to keep people well at home.

The tool uses a rating system, based on the latest best practice guidance and research, to ensure that people receive the best and most relevant support for their needs. It clinically prioritises people at risk of admission to hospital, ensuring that increased levels of support are provided to reduce the risk of a hospital stay.

Dr Ceri Woodrow, consultant clinical psychologist, CWP who has led the project said: “It is an honour to be nominated for a Parliamentary Award  and I would like to say a very special thanks to the team behind the DSD-CST.

“Their amazing efforts will really make a difference to autistic people and people with learning disabilities, ensuring they receive the right care, at the right time in the right place”.

The initiative has been recognised by the Parliamentary Awards as it has led to a range of improvements including; easy access to intensive support for people who need it, reduced the number of inpatient admissions by 80% and reduced the length of time in hospital, helping people to get home quicker and back to their normal lives.

The tool has also been recommended by NHS England and adopted by other areas of the country. These include local areas like Greater Manchester, but also stretch as far away as Dorset and Cornwall. It has been presented at multiple conferences to share good practice and is available, free of charge, for all NHS staff.

It also won ‘Mental Health Innovation of the Year’ in 2022 in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) National awards.

Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale constituency, said: "I’m delighted Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust has been shortlisted in the NHS Parliamentary Awards for developing a digital tool to support autistic people and those with intellectual disabilities.

“I nominated them because this initiative means those most vulnerable at any point in time can be offered extra support to reduce the risk of mental health hospital admission. That’s got to be better for the wellbeing of patients but it also promotes more efficient use of NHS resources. Good news all round! Best of luck to all involved at the national awards ceremony in July.”

Kieran Mullan: MP for Crewe and Nantwich constituency said: It was a pleasure to nominate Ceri and the Dynamic Support Database for awards at the NHS Parliamentary Awards – and it is great to see that they have been shortlisted! 

“All staff in our NHS do fantastic work, day-in-day-out, helping us when we are most in need. The awards allow us to recognise the contribution of just some of these amazing people. Good luck to Ceri and the team responsible for the DSD. Thank you for all that you do!” 

Tim Welch, chief executive, CWP said: “On behalf of everyone at CWP I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the Dynamic Support Database – Clinical Support Tool project. 

“Their hard work and dedication to improving the lives of people in the neurodivergent community sets a very high standard for everyone working in health and social care.

“Ensuring we offer the best possible care to the communities we serve is the number one priority at CWP, and this project extends that philosophy to the whole of the North West and beyond.”