Headlines: November 29th, 2004

A successful partnership has won the Royal National Institute for Deaf People an award as Most Innovative Charity. It is in recognition of its work in modernising National Health Service audiology services. The partnership work was recognised at the Third Sector awards.As a result of RNID campaigns 125 million pounds was committed to modernising services in England over five years. Ministers asked the charity to manage the programme in partnership with the Department of Health. It was the first time a voluntary organisation had been asked to form a management partnership to deliver major change within the NHS. One key success of the modernisation has been a big reduction in the price of digital hearing aids by improving procurement methods.

John Low, the Chief Executive of the RNID said, “We have demonstrated that the voluntary sector has the flexibility to work across boundaries and can bring added value to public services. RNID is delighted to win this award.”

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said the success of the scheme showed that campaigning and service delivery could be complementary. The RNID’s lobbying had had an impact on policy and legislation, particularly in relation to the Communications Act.

This is the second award the RNID has won for this groundbreaking work. It had previously won Best Overall prize at the Charity Awards in June. The RNID has experience of other public and voluntary sector partnerships, having worked with the Department of Education and Skills on a multi-agency support service for deaf children.