November has been an exciting month for Here, seeing us scoop two major national awards; “Social Enterprise of the Year” at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London; and “Employee Owned Innovation of the Year” at the UK Employee Ownership Awards held at the NEC in Birmingham.

The Social Enterprise of the Year award recognises Here for its innovative, person-centred healthcare services that touch the lives of millions of people across the UK. Working with partners to design healthcare and wellbeing solutions around the real needs of people, Here is transforming the focus of care from ‘what’s the matter?’ to ‘what matters to you?’ – helping individuals and their families in living the best lives they can and feeling in charge and control of their healthcare decisions.


Zoe Nicholson, CEO and co-founder expresses:

“We are so excited to win this award, and it’s testament to the hard work of all the people who work with citizens to help them live well. It’s also a reflection of the great work of all those organisations we partner with.”

Proud of its social enterprise roots, Here seeks ways to support social enterprises locally, building a community of like-minded organisations that can learn from each other and build collective momentum to develop happy, healthy communities.

Employee Owned Innovation of the Year has been awarded to Here in recognition of the social benefit we deliver through the redesign of Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service (MAS).

“This award means a huge amount to us. It is recognition of the hard work and commitment of the people working in the Memory Assessment Service and their determination to put what matters to people at the heart of what we do – even when the existing system makes that difficult.” Zoe Nicholson

The MAS service is run in partnership with the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Alzheimer’s Society and the Carers’ Centre to deliver better outcomes for people with dementia and memory problems. Redesigning the service has been one of its most challenging and successful ventures and was a response to a broad range of feedback that demonstrated that the service’s Key Performance Indicators – which focused on speed of assessment and diagnosis – were not what mattered most to those that the service cares for, with the priority need being support not diagnosis.

Using our co-owned membership structure (which is open to all employees as well as GPs, practice managers and nurses partner organisations to join), Here set up the MAS working group to begin redesigning the service. We subsequently decided to invest in providing memory support workers to have meaningful conversations with people at the point of referral.  This was immediately backed up by a Befriending Service and Peer Support Groups to help address the loneliness and isolation that people with memory problems, their families and carers experience, ahead of their diagnosis.

“We couldn’t have redesigned the Memory Assessment Service in this way without the wisdom and vision of our members. We are owned by our members and we believe it’s this structure that gives us the capacity to do what’s right for people even when it means investing significant funds from our own reserves.” Zoe Nicholson

Anne Segall, Group HR Director, BMT Group Ltd, and awards judge said:

“By redesigning their service so people with memory problems and their families get support from the point of referral ahead of waiting for a diagnosis, this innovation tackles a real social need and is making a big difference. What is impressive is that this innovation has come from an idea from employees, in collaboration with carers, family members and other interested parties, that intrinsically linked to Here being employee owned, which is what made this the Judges winner.”

Both awards are a credit to our partners, without whom the work we do would not be possible. Our partners include citizens, GPs and local healthcare practitioners, commissioners, NHS Trusts and healthcare companies, third sector providers, social enterprises, and community groups. They’re all dedicated to doing what matters for the people we serve. This award is as much a reflection of their achievements as of Here’s.

Discover more about the Memory Assessment Service redesign from Jason Willcox, the service’s Integrated Care Manager.

Find out about Here as a membership organisation and how to become a member.

tagged in Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Services, innovation, membership, service redesign

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