ADDICTION CONSULTANT IS NHS “BEST OF THE BEST”
Dr Sanju George, from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust’s The Bridge substance misuse service, beat off competition from hundreds of health projects in the region to win the top prize at the West Midlands’ Health and Social Care Awards. These awards recognise NHS and Social Care staff who have made an exceptional contribution to people’s care.
The consultant in addiction psychiatry was nominated for his “transformational leadership” by staff, service users, carers’ representatives, the Solihull Drug Action Team commissioner and the BSMHT Substance Misuse Directorate’s senior management team.
Since coming into post in 2005, Dr George has revolutionised The Bridge by encouraging his team to adopt new initiatives which are being recognised nationally. Successes include a new service for vulnerable women and a new system of offering ‘health MOTs’, including ECGs, to all at-risk clients. The number of stable drug users looked after by their own GPs has grown considerably, user and carer involvement is now at the heart of the service and a single point of contact for all drug users has been created in Solihull.
Dr George also leads a monthly forum for service users and carers – ‘Ask the doctor’ sessions – and is running the first pilot in the Directorate for nurse prescribing.
Karen Martin, BSMHT’s deputy chief executive, said: “In the space of two years, Dr George has turned his project into a recognised centre of excellence in the Trust. His emphasis on quality of care for patients and support for staff is demonstrated in a very real way on a daily basis in the service provided”.
Colin Bartlett, users’ representative for Solihull drug services, added that: “He always has time for me and for the user group”.
Drug Action Team commissioner Chris Clarke said: “For Dr George, what’s best for the patient is the key – and to make sure that happens he both takes the lead in excellent clinical practices and plays a full part in helping the wider system of care deliver the sorts of help that can turn lives around.”
Dr George will now be put forward to compete at the National Health and Social Care Awards. If he is successful, he will represent the West Midlands at the event which is set to take place on 1 July in London as part of the NHS 60th anniversary celebrations.