A PAIR of pioneering Oxfordshire mental health teams will find out today if they have won a national prize recognising their work.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards, created last year to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, see MPs nominate individuals and teams they think have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies.

Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership was named a regional winner and is now shortlisted for the national Excellence in Mental Health Care Award category.

A groundbreaking project developing a Digital Care Assistant which allows staff to check on mental health inpatients without waking them at night, has also been shortlisted for the Future NHS Award.

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Both teams were chosen from hundreds of nominations and received the unanimous backing of all of Oxfordshire’s six MPs.

The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership helps more than 6,000 people living with mental health problems in the county each year through its recovery programme.

Specialist mental health organisations from the NHS and the voluntary sector work together to help with everything from emotional and physical care to education, employment, financial stability and housing.

The partnership is made up of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Restore, Oxfordshire Mind, Response, Connection Support and Elmore Community Service.

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Dan Knowles, chairman of the partnership, said: "Since inception four years ago we have demonstrated significant improvements in outcomes for our patients and a track record of innovation in service design.

"This award is testament to the users of our services, our staff, and volunteers; we are proud to have been recognised in these prestigious national awards.”

The Digital Care Assistant, meanwhile, eliminates the disruption from necessary check mental health patients throughout the night, which can sometimes be needed as often as every 15 minutes.

Launched by Oxford Health it is being used in six rooms on the acute inpatient unit at Warneford Hospital, as part of a project with OxeHealth, an IT spin-out company from Oxford University.

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It uses an optical sensor to detect movement, pulse and breathing rate so patients are still checked safely but enjoy a better nights sleep.

Stuart Bell, chief executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Two shortlisted regional winners in the NHS Parliamentary Awards illustrates the commitment to innovation in mental healthcare in Oxfordshire and the dedication of all our colleagues at Oxford Health, Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and OxeHealth to caring and supporting people locally."

The winners across all 10 categories will be revealed at a ceremony in parliament later today.