Francis Willis Unit patients win two National Service User Awards

Published on: 19th October 2021

Patients and their creative projects at Francis Willis Unit in Lincoln have been recognised at the National Service User Awards 2021 where they won awards in two categories.

The National Service User Awards launched in 2012 to acknowledge fantastic patient engagement. The annual awards recognise the achievements of service user led projects across mental health, learning disability and autism services nationwide.

Patients at Francis Willis Unit were overjoyed to win the award in the ‘Recovery and the Arts’ category for the Smart Phone Movie Making project, which demonstrated patient creativity and supporting recovery through the arts. One of the patients gained a place on the NHS Care Experience Team’s smartphone movie making course and has been supporting other patients to enhance their skills and create a film about the ward for new patients.

The group also achieved the award for ‘Health and Wellbeing’ for their work on the ward’s ‘Monthly Health Challenges’, which encourage increased physical activity.

After the virtual ceremony and celebration event on the ward, one patient said “I really enjoyed the day and it was nice to win as a result of our hard work”, with another adding “It was overwhelming to have won. Everyone worked hard and well together.”

Francis Willis Unit, a low secure inpatient mental health ward based at Lincoln County Hospital, is managed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

Sarah Connery, LPFT Chief Executive, said:

“I am so proud of what our service users have achieved on the Francis Willis Unit. To win two of these prestigious awards is such great recognition for their innovation and commitment. I am hoping that other service users across the NHS will be inspired and empowered by their achievements and where possible, get involved in projects that help improve services.”    

Louise Bannister, Francis Willis Unit Ward Manager, said:

“We are really proud of all our patients, not just for the awards but for all the hard work they have put in to creating their projects. I have been part of the awards since they started in 2012 and to win in multiple categories is incredible.

“It makes service users feel like they have achieved something important, boosts self-esteem and allows them to be inspired by other projects.

“As a community, everyone has been really helpful and it’s great to see everyone working together. Every single patient on the ward contributed towards the projects and helped with the preparation for our local celebrations.”

To mark the occasion and celebrate this momentous achievement, ward staff and patients put up decorations, dressed in black tie attire, and held their own awards ceremony at the unit. The ward received generous food donations from Tesco Superstore in Lincoln and Pizza Hut, as well as a red carpet from Claytons Carpets.

Dave Hobson, Store Manager at Tesco Superstore, said:

“It was a great honour to be asked to support the unit with a small donation of food and drinks to help them celebrate winning two national awards. On a personal note, being able to see first-hand the great work the team are doing to help patients on their journey to rehabilitation was very rewarding.”

FWU_Awards_website_thumb.png Francis Willis Unit staff with Service User Awards certificates National Service User Awards logo