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LWIA Winners Large-9_616x372

Finalists: Addleshaw Goddard, CMS & Sainsbury’s in-house team (highly commended); Bird & Bird; Dentons; Norton Rose Fulbright; Serjeants’ Inn; Shoosmiths.

Ward Hadaway’s state-of-the-art client knowledge system developed for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust earned it the client management innovation award.

The system, which is designed to save the trust time and resources (thus allowing staff to concentrate on patient care), creates a centralised database for up-to-date legal advice and information on a broad spectrum of subjects such as contracts and commercial law, employment, mental health legislation and property law, which NHS professionals can quickly access at the click of a button.

The benefits of using the system are clear: it reduces legal spend, offers quicker solutions to legal problems, and avoids duplicate requests for the same advice from different NHS managers and clinicians. Client feedback shows it is already helping to improve the speed of decision-making and freeing up time for staff to spend with patients, with other NHS trusts across the country showing interest in adopting the system (with the NHS Innovation Agency currently using it as a case study on its hub).

The system could allow the Lancashire Care Trust to shave 10% from its annual £250,000 legal budget and has the potential to save all NHS trusts in the UK an estimated £8m a year on legal spend.

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