Integrated Community Services team wins top national award

Dec 03, 2018

A community team from Shropshire has received national recognition after winning a top prize at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards.

The Integrated Community Services (ICS) team, jointly run by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Shropshire Council, were named the winner of the Team of the Year, Adult Services award at the national event which took place last week (Friday 30 November 2018) in London.

ICS provides short-term support for patients who are ready to leave hospital. This involves a team of carers, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists working with the person to help them regain their skills and independence. This will usually be in their own home or as close to home as possible.

ICS teams also work closely with partner organisations to identify people who need support to avoid an admission to hospital in the first place. The team of almost 70 provides a ‘Discharge to Assess’ and ‘Admission Avoidance’ service to two acute hospitals, five community hospitals and in community settings.

Early in 2017 Shropshire Council was set extremely rigorous performance targets by the Department of Health and was required to improve its Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC)performance by 60% by September 2017. By collectively implementing innovative measures, ICS significantly exceeded its target, by achieving a 75% improvement by September 2017, and a 97% reduction in delayed transfers of care between May 2017 and May 2018.

The judges praised each member of the team for being highly motivated and committed and displaying “compassion and values on a daily basis”.

Jan Ditheridge, Chief Executive of Shropcom, said: “This is a great example of services working in partnership in the best interests of patients and their families.

“It is critical that patients spend only the right amount of time in hospital and return home as soon as possible to regain their independence. The ICS teams makes sure this happens on a daily basis.

“We are very proud of the work they do and it is fabulous that it has been recognised nationally.”

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, health and social housing, said: “What a fantastic surprise and honour! We are absolutely delighted to winning this prestigious award.

“Our ICS team have worked extremely hard to support people to be discharged from hospital as soon as they are well, and help people avoid hospital admissions. Amidst an environment of intense scrutiny and expectation, their innovative, enthusiastic and optimistic approach to their work have made them go above and beyond their call of duty. Their dedication and determination has now paid off with the fact that they’ve been nationally recognised for their achievements. This is a real testament to a brilliant team.”

Speaking just after the team collected their award, Tanya Miles, Shropshire Council’s head of adult social care, added: “It feels amazing to win this award. We’re an integrated team made up of social workers, nurses and therapists and this award is for everyone back in Shropshire. I have been a social worker for 23 years and I have to say this is the proudest moment of my career.”

Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s director of adult social care and housing, said: “I am so proud and humbled that our ICS team have won this amazing accolade. This award truly recognises a team who have made a considerable and significant difference through their outstanding work, in ensuring people return home from hospital as soon as possible. I would personally like to say congratulations and a huge thank you to our amazing staff.”

ICS social worker Anita Gikiri added: “It’s been a fab night to be part of such a wonderful team and most of all to be nominated for the Team of the Year, adult social care and being part of it all; I can’t express how honoured I feel and have enjoyed every moment of it.”

The team were preShropshire Integrated Community Services social work team wins top national awardsented with their award by care leaver and BBC news reporter, Ashley John-Baptiste, in front of an audience of over 450 social workers and representatives of the profession. The Social Worker of the Year Awards were founded in 2006 by independent practitioner, Beverley Williams MBE, with the aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession.

This year the awards received a record-breaking number of nominations and 93 social workers and social work teams in both children’s and adult services were selected as finalists across 16 different categories.

For more information about the awards visit

To find out more about ICS visit

Pictured, from left; Andy Begley - Shropshire Council’s director of adult social care and housing; Deb Edwards – Team manager ICS acute; Becky Waterworth – Social worker ICS; Anita Gikiri – Social worker ICS; Louise Phillips – Social care practitioner; Tanya Miles – Shropshire Council’s head of adult social care; Lee Chapman – Shropshire Council’s Cabinet Member for adult services, health and social housing; Jane Tait – Team manager ICS community; Bobby Flannagan – independent care home assessor (SCHT); Sarah Robinson – Clinical Commissioning Group commissioner; Jon Richards, Head of Education and Local Government at award sponsor UNISON.