British Chamber of Commerce Awards

UK Pods Ltd’s commitment to improving safety and reducing injury in mental health Trusts and other organisations has seen the company get shortlisted for a national award.

With customers as far afield as Dubai, China and Australia, whilst also serving about 80% of UK NHS mental health trusts, the family-run company was named in the ‘High Growth’ category of the British Chamber of Commerce Awards 2019.

It comes after significant successes for the company, in which some mental health Trusts have eliminated the need for potentially dangerous floor restraints after introducing the Safety Pod.

Earlier this year, UK Pods Ltd picked up the Newcomer of the Year and the Services Award at the North East Business Awards, sponsored by The Gazette on Teesside and The Journal.

Following on from that success, company directors Palkesh Darbar Crawford and Genevieve Crawford attended the national British Chamber of Commerce Awards in London’s Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, on November 28.

Palkesh, who is also a clinical skills consultant, training the organisations he supplies on how to use the least restrictive practices when restraint of a patient may be required, said it was a “great night” in which UK Pods Ltd were proud to be recognised amongst some of the best small and medium sized businesses in the UK.

He believes the outstanding success of the company would not have been possible without the commitment of the professionals and service users the team have worked alongside when introducing the Safety Pod.

“There is a lot more awareness now surrounding the subject of restraint and the risks around it, which is great to see,” he said.

“It’s immensely satisfying to be part of the reduction in restraints we have witnessed in the last few years for the services we support, and to be in the position of educating everyone from frontline staff to consultants and company directors.

We are absolutely thrilled to receive the acknowledgement that we receive from various different organisations, but we view our successes as jointly achieved by the Trusts, organisations, service users and physical intervention teams we have worked with.

“We are always getting fantastic feedback on our products and service – and all that does is help us to keep our heads down and stay consistently focused on the subject of restraint so that we can help to drive much-needed change across all services – big or small.”

The UK Pods Ltd team has decades of experience working on the frontline in mental health and care services, particularly with children and young adults.

Palkesh says while the team are delighted with the award nomination, it is the recognition from services that is a “massive driver,” which gives the team the encouragement they need to keep making a difference to many people in difficult circumstances.

And he adds there is still a lot more work to do to help many services, which still find themselves using restrictive restraint techniques on a regular basis.

Palkesh said: “There are still a lot of services in need of huge support and it is clear that improvements are still needed in this area of care.

“As much as it’s a time to celebrate our achievements, it’s also a time to stay consistent with our efforts and our drive towards reducing restrictive practices, as we continue to work with organisations to enhance their environments, making them safer places to be.

“When you see excellence in a service like we do in some of those who have introduced Safety Pods, alongside positive behavioural support and the prevention and management of violence and aggression techniques, it is our belief that’s what all services should be like.”

UK Pods Ltd was formed as a result of Palkesh’s work in education and training specialising in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

The design concept was developed from there, with the proven outcome of enhancing safety and reducing injuries to both staff and patients during physical interventions.

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