From left to right: Christine Breen, Improvement Manager, Catherine Sheeran, Head of Specialist Service, Wendy Henning, Respiratory Physio Specialist, Roberta Brownlee, Chairperson, Carol Patton, Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, Edwin Poots, Minister of Health, Angela McVeigh, Director of Older People and Primary Care Services, Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive, Roisin Toner, Assistant Director of Enhanced Services.

The Southern Heath & Social Care Trust has won a national award for their remote tele-monitoring pilot scheme for patients with long term conditions.

Today Health Minister Edwin Poots congratulated the Trust at a special celebratory event in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings. Mr Poots said: "These awards are testament to the Southern Trusts commitment to do things differently through innovation and enterprise.

"Northern Ireland is seen as a leader in tele-monitoring and this is due in no small part to projects such as yours and the willingness to adopt and embrace new working practices, and continuously improve services."

The Trust received first place in the Technology Section for its pioneering remote tele-monitoring work. This was one of a number of schemes run across Northern Ireland whose successful outcome has
resulted in the commissioning of a regional service, known as Tele-monitoringNI.

The Minister continued: "Tele-monitoring is a new and developing area of healthcare worldwide and this pragmatic approach where we are all learning as we go, makes it all the more impressive that a Northern
Ireland project has won an award."

The Trust also came runners up in the Productive Series-International category for its 'Releasing Time to Care' initiative which looked at ways of improving patient experiences on busy hospital wards.

The Minister continued: "People who use our services expect to feel that they are in a safe, well organised and clean environment as standard when they come into hospital and the Releasing Time to Care Initiative
goes a long way to ensure them of that."

The awards were made by Lean Healthcare Academy UK.