Sevenoaks scoops two top awards for pushing the boundaries of innovation

Published: Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Sevenoaks District Council collected two prestigious public sector awards on Wednesday 6 March winning the iESE Gold Award for Transformation in Health and Social Care and Civic Office of the Year.

The iESE Gold Award for Transformation in Health and Social Care was in recognition of the Council's unique approach to delivering health and wellbeing services.

iESE (The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise) works with public sector organisations to help them deliver the best possible services at the best possible cost.

This award acknowledged the Council’s unique approach to delivering health and wellbeing services, including the West Kent Hospital Discharge scheme to help tackle NHS bed blocking. The scheme works with patients who are well enough to leave hospital but cannot return home for a variety of reasons, such as the necessity to move some furniture, the need for small but important home adaptations through to hoarding. The scheme also offers ongoing support so patients can continue to live independently. Since November 2017, 288 residents across the four council areas in the scheme have benefitted, saving the NHS a minimum of £129,000.

The award also praised the Council’s One You preventative health services and the Super HERO Advice Service which tackle the non-medical reasons why people visit their doctor, even if the symptoms are medical. Examples include anxiety caused by debt, asthma caused by damp housing, identifying people likely to fall and preventing it, symptoms caused by loneliness, lack of exercise and poor diet.

The Council’s Democratic Services team scooped the Civic Office of the Year award, promoted by the National Association of Civic Officers, for its work supporting the Council’s Chairman.

Most councils have a dedicated member of staff or a team supporting their Mayor or Chairman. But at ever-efficient Sevenoaks District Council, this work is carried out by Democratic Services.

The team’s primary job is organising, running and documenting Council meetings, including the publication of meeting agendas. But unlike most other councils, they promote the Chairman and manage his busy diary, with the Chairman attending some 300 events in any given year. They also organise events on behalf of the Chairman, including Armed Forces Day, Merchant Navy Day and Commonwealth Day celebrations.

Cllr Peter Fleming, the Council Leader, says: "These awards are proof that Sevenoaks District Council continues to bring forward unique services to positively change and improve the lives and opportunities of residents across the Sevenoaks District. It is great to see the work of the Chairman of the Council, in supporting and raising the profile of the amazing work of our community groups and volunteers recognised. Sevenoaks is a seriously different council and it is great to receive external recognition for our pioneering work." 

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