CHFT’s pioneering A&E work shortlisted for prestigious Nursing Times Award

BLOSM has been developed by experienced A&E nurses, Alistair Christie and Darren Blake.

BLOSM has been developed by experienced A&E nurses, Alistair Christie and Darren Blake.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT)'s trauma navigator pilot, BLOSM, has been shortlisted in this year’s Nursing Times Awards in the Critical and Emergency Care category. 

BLOSM aims to support people who have presented with complex social issues, giving colleagues the training and tools to identify these concerns and make appropriate referrals into community services.

BLOSM looks at ways of improving outcomes for people attending A&E by working closely with community partners to put support in place and reduce the demand on acute services. It uses the principles of trauma-informed care to create a new multi-agency support service across Emergency Departments at CHFT.

The first part of the service is the youth navigator pilot, which supports young people aged between 11-25. BLOSM youth workers are on site seven-days-a-week, supporting vulnerable young people who have attended with complex social issues. This includes those who have experienced violence or assault, exploitation, issues with school/bullying, substance misuse and other trauma. Youth workers also offer young people follow-up support when they go home, built around the young person’s circumstances and working closely with existing community services.

The BLOSM navigator pilot went live in January 2023 and has supported just under 400 young people in the first 5 months. And, through the development of new Emergency Department social pathways, a further 130 people of all ages have been referred into a range of community services.

This approach is already seeing results. Recently, a BLOSM youth worker engaged with a young person who had attended A&E more than 20 times in a short period. They were offered support and signposted to an existing youth group, which in turn improved their wellbeing and led to no further attendances into A&E.

BLOSM has been developed by experienced A&E nurses, Alistair Christie and Darren Blake.

Alistair Christie, BLOSM Service Lead at CHFT, said: “I am so proud that the important work we are doing to support vulnerable people in and beyond A&E has been recognised by the Nursing Times Awards. With the support of our partners, we have achieved a lot in just six months. We know that a single intervention can make a lifetime of difference to someone, and it’s a privilege to be part of this initiative.”

“We are creating a culture that is not about judging people’s behaviours – we’re trying to build a service that works beyond that and caters to people’s individual needs. Using a trauma-informed approach, we aim to create a non-judgemental environment where people feel safe, listened to, and supported.” 

Rob Aitchison, Deputy Chief Executive at CHFT, said: “We’re delighted that BLOSM has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Awards. The work Alistair and his team are doing is making a real impact on the health and wellbeing of young people attending our A&E departments.

“It’s a great example of how connecting services and delivering patient-centred care can help reduce health inequalities.” 

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE, is also the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Senior Responsible Officer for the Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Programme and said: “This nomination is a measure of the incredible service that the BLOSM trauma navigator pilot provides, and I’m delighted they have been recognised.

“Their pioneering work, jointly funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, ensures young people are getting the best possible ‘trauma informed’ support.

“We each have an enormous responsibility to protect our communities from the harms of serious violence and it can only be achieved by working together in this way.”

BLOSM stands for:

  • Bridging the gap
  • Leading a change in culture
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Supporting vulnerable people
  • Motivating independence and confidence

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) are funding BLOSM. 

As the service develops, BLOSM are looking to bring in specialist practitioners from other community providers to introduce new skills and knowledge to CHFT's Emergency Departments, improving outcomes for vulnerable people. 

For further information about BLOSM and/or media enquiries, please contact: