Thornford Park hospital nominated as finalist in National Service User Awards

A hospital managed by the Priory Group has been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious National Service User Awards.

The judging panel selected its shortlist from a total of over 100 nominations.

The National Service User Awards recognise and celebrate the large number of service user-led initiatives in in-patient mental health services nationwide.

The awards ceremony will be held on 11 March 2015 at Silverstone Racing Circuit’s Wing Hall.

The patient-led project based at Headley Ward at Priory’s Thornford Park Hospital in Thatcham, Berkshire has been named as a finalist in the “Community, Social or Vocational Initiative” category.

Eleven patients from a low secure ward were encouraged to take an active part in the community.

With huge enthusiasm, they selected a charity, designed posters and developed ideas for fundraising, generating a substantial amount of money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Fund-raising events included a sponsored car wash, a six-mile country walk, a barbecue and cake sale and a Macmillan coffee morning.

Katherine Payne, senior staff nurse at The Priory Thornford Park, said: “The service users really took charge and the charity events helped promote pride in their work as well as confidence in their skills.  Rehabilitation into the community is an on-going process especially for those who may have spent long periods in care or a hospital environment.

“This was a chance for service users to use all sorts of skills from team-building, social skills, creativity as well as practical life skills like cooking, preparation, planning and organisation. “They developed great ideas and motivated each other with staff supporting them.”

Paul O’Connor, hospital director of The Priory Thornford Park, said: “I am very pleased with the joint efforts of both patients and staff on Headley Ward as they continue to innovate so that patients gain a meaningful care experience within a low secure setting. This is continuing the good work of 2013 when Headley Ward won the internal Pride Award for Quality within Priory Healthcare.”

A second Priory hospital, Farmfield Hospital in Charlwood, Surrey, has been nominated in the “Outstanding Service User Achievement Award” category for its virtual tour of the hospital for potential service users.

For a full list of the categories and finalists of the 2015 National Service User Awards visit

The awards ceremony organisers said they were looking forward to “hosting an inspirational day that celebrates some of the many remarkable achievements and innovations led by service users in mental health services nationwide”.