Bedford mental health professional receives prestigious NHS award

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Matt Sparks (Image: East London NHS Foundation Trust)


A mental health professional in Bedford who is dedicated to supporting children and young people has received a prestigious NHS award.  

Matt Sparks, who works in Bedford for East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), has received the Dr Robert Dolan Leadership Award at the ELFT Staff Awards 2023.  

He has been recognised for his work as clinical team lead for the North Bedfordshire CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service) crisis pathway.  

Matt and his team support young people who need urgent mental health support and their families. They provide a range of help, from home treatment through to partnership Young People’s Sanctuaries.  

Matt has worked in the NHS for 21 years, is a former pupil at Mark Rutherford School in Bedford and a graduate of Luton University.  

He said he was “proud and humbled” at receiving the award.  

“To have the opportunity to work with children and also families is an absolute privilege,” he said.  

“I always say to the team ‘Let’s deliver this service like it is your child, niece or nephew and with the standard of care and attention you would want for your loved ones’.

“Working with amazing colleagues and service users gets me out of bed and motivated every day.”  

The ELFT Staff Awards were held in East London on 19 October.