26/10/2018

Finalist for two national awards

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) has been shortlisted for two national awards that recognise its status as a staff owned organisation.

ECCH, which provides NHS and public health services in Norfolk and Waveney, and is a finalist in the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2018 in the category of Public Service Mutual of the Year and also for the Employee Ownership Culture Award.

The nominations follow on from the announcement last month that ECCH has been nominated as finalists in the UK Social Enterprise Awards in the categories of Health and Social Care Social Enterprise and also Employee Engagement.

More than 80% of ECCH employees have opted to become shareholders in the organisation which gives them a say in key decisions. However, they do not receive dividends because, as a community interest company, ECCH’s surplus resources are reinvested to benefit the local community or used to support good causes. Two Staff Directors, who are nominated by their colleagues, sit on the Board, and a Shareholder Council represents staff as a sub-committee of the Board.

This year 96% of service users said they would recommend ECCH’s services in the NHS Friends and Family Test survey. The survey also showed 100% of respondents would recommend ECCH’s pioneering Out of Hospital Teams which have proved so successful since they were launched in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth that a third service was launched in south Waveney earlier this year.

ECCH, which has its headquarters in Lowestoft, this year picked up the financial shortfall to keep a number of services running such as the Family Nurse Partnership which supports teenage mothers in the Waveney area. ECCH also ran a training course for young unemployed people in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, offered free safeguarding training and baby life-saving classes in Lowestoft and Beccles and set up breastfeeding cafés to support parents in Waveney, despite cuts to its funding for breastfeeding support.

ECCH is one of only a handful of healthcare providers in the country to be granted ISO14001:2015 status by the British Standards Institute for reducing its environmental impact. This year ECCH launched a cultural change programme to build on its strong employee engagement ethos.

ECCH chief executive Jonathan Williams said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been voted as finalists for these two EOA awards, particularly after receiving the SEUK shortlistings only a few weeks ago. It’s testament to the dedication of our staff who work so hard every day to provide the highest quality of services possible. I’m very proud of everyone at ECCH who pulls together to make this organisation the best it can be.”

The Employee Ownership Awards, which are sponsored by management consultants Baxendale, will be presented in Birmingham on 19th November and the UK Social Enterprise Awards later that month.