The health board has been shortlisted for the Management Team of the Year Award in the prestigious National Management & Leadership Awards, held in association with the Chartered Management Institute and sponsored by VISA EUROPE.
The awards are described as “recognising exceptional endeavour amongst the most forward thinking organisations in the UK”.
Candidates for the Management Team of the Year Award had to demonstrate how they collectively delivered improved services for the rest of the organisation. They demonstrated a culture of sustainable, ongoing financial success and an infrastructure that’s conducive to creating a vibrant and successful workplace.
The NHS Highland entry was submitted by Community Pharmacy Business Manager Helen MacDonald - who led the team in conjunction with Senior Health Promotion Specialist Susan Birse - for work to help deliver the National Smoking Cessation Service through NHS Highland’s network of 77 community pharmacies (High Street Chemists).
Staff from the NHS Highland Community Pharmacy Services Team visit every community pharmacy on an annual basis and one of the topics promoted over the last year was to raise awareness of the importance of the reasons for returning data which feeds into a National database to audit service delivery, recording levels of update and effectiveness of the service.
Helen MacDonald said: “I think we clearly demonstrated what can be achieved for patients through collaborative working. This work should help to sustain the return of high-quality data and improve community pharmacists’ commitment to smoking cessation services.
“A quarter of deaths in the NHS Highland area are due to smoking, which is linked to lung and heart disease and some cancers.
"We have worked with internal and external stakeholders to procure, utilise and enable the confident use of knowledge and resources to effectively support and increase uptake of this valuable and extremely accessible service”.
Smoking cessation services, including the provision of nicotine replacement therapy, are provided free of charge in Scotland through the NHS and are available through clinics run by smoking cessation advisers, GP practices and from community pharmacies.
Smoking cessation “quit” attempts through NHS Highland community pharmacies increased from 20% in 2009 to 36% in 2012.
Elaine Mead, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Highland, said: “To have been selected for the finals of these prestigious awards is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved at NHS Highland. The work being judged was both comprehensive and hugely important and has played a significant part in helping smokers in Highland quit the habit.”
The award winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 4th October.
Note to editors
For information on where to access an NHS Highland community pharmacy near you, visit our website via http://www.nhshighland.scot.nhs.uk/Services/Pages/Pharmacies.aspx or for further information or to find out where your nearest smoking cessation adviser or community pharmacist in Scotland is, please call 0800 84 84 84.