Niamh (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) won the prestigious EFQM Ireland Excellence award. Niamh accepted the top accolade in the Centre for Competitiveness (CForC) event at the Clandeboye Lodge in Bangor on Thursday 30 January.
The event, celebrating its 20thyear, was run in conjunction with Invest NI, and supported by the Department of Finance and Personnel, NIE, and Hewlett Packard.
Niamh CEO Professor Peter McBride said: “We are delighted to have achieved this outstanding recognition. It is a testament to the high standard and quality of Niamh’s business model in delivering a range of services in the health sector across the island of Ireland.
“We work very hard to benchmark our operational model against the world-class EFQM performance standards pursuing excellence to become leaner and more competitive. As our organisation continues to grow in new business areas, we endeavour to maintain the highest quality as well as achieving excellent performance and client satisfaction.”
The Niamh group delivers a range of unique and tailored services and has a wide operational base across the island of Ireland. It provides supported housing and day care services for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities as well as counselling and training for employees in the private and public sectors.
There are various levels of recognition throughout the improvement process, including the EFQM Ireland Excellence Award, the pinnacle of the highly-regarded recognition scheme. This year 20 organisations won awards, including 11 from Northern Ireland.
CforC Chief Executive Bob Barbour said: “This is a landmark occasion for our organisation as we celebrate our 20thyear of running these awards to celebrate excellence across the public, private and voluntary sectors, all based on the EFQM world class benchmarking model measuring performance outcomes across all parts of the organisation.
“Our winners have undergone rigorous examination and have illustrated their employees’ dedication, low absenteeism, higher productivity, customer satisfaction and superior financial performance.”
Niall Casey, Invest NI Director Skills and Strategy Solutions said, “These awards raise awareness of how the pursuit of excellence can have a tangible effect on business and contribute towards growth and economic prosperity.
“Invest Northern Ireland offers a great portfolio of skills development support to help businesses to develop a more flexible and motivated workforce that will, in turn, help increase sales and profitability.
“Our challenge is to continue to build on the considerable progress made to date in embedding business excellence in Northern Ireland and in our companies. By maintaining a focus on quality, we can ensure Northern Ireland continues to attract new inward investment and win business overseas.”
Established by the private sector, the Centre for Competitiveness (CforC) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation, dedicated to actively supporting the development of an internationally competitive economy through innovation, productivity improvement and quality excellence in the private, public and voluntary sectors and to build best in class performance through International Leadership across all sectors.
The Ireland Excellence Awards process is based on the world class EFQM Excellence Model, incorporating different levels of recognition.
Accepting the Award: Prof Peter McBride (Niamh group CEO); Head of Quality, Rose Reynolds