Hospital nurses developed a series of patient-focussed initiatives on the Thistle Ward – a continuing care facility catering for older adults with enduring mental health problems.
The initiatives introduced by the team at Edinburgh’s Ellen’s Glen House hospital included letting patients to choose the colours of the paint used to decorate their ward; bringing personal effects into hospital to transform their bed-side areas; and even acquiring an aquarium and some aquatic fish in order to make patients feel increasingly “at home” during their stay.
The benefits of the initiatives to patients – and the hospital – have been significant, and very tangible.
“We have seen our patients become a lot more content during their stay,” commented Corrina Falconer, who with colleagues Gillian Napier and Jane Montgomery accepted the award on behalf of NHS Lothian.
“Patients have become less aggressive as a result of their new environment, they’re a lot happier – and they have got better a lot quicker than they were doing before we introduced the initiative.
“It’s been a fantastic experience for everyone associated with this work – and there has been a domino effect throughout the hospital, with other wards replicating what we have done. To be recognised in the Patient Experience Network National Awards is something that will inspire everyone we work with.”
The NHS Lothian entry had earlier won the Environment of Care award against an extremely strong field, and, as a category winner, was one of six organisations to compete for PENNA’s ultimate prize, where it claimed more than 50% of all votes cast.
“I would personally like to congratulate the incredible work NHS Lothian is doing to improve the experience of its patients,” said Ruth Evans, who organised the awards and leads the Patient Experience Network.
“Their entry displayed real passion and commitment – and some outstanding outcomes. The nurses who are delivering this work are a credit to their Trust – and the wider health service.”
Knowsley Health and Wellbeing walked away with two awards, after claiming top spot in the Communicating Effectively with Patients and Families and Personalisation of Care categories. The Trust’s work in supporting patients suffering from cardio vascular diseases and strokes – and tackling the unplanned care costs associated with both conditions – has led to huge improvements being delivered at its three hospitals in Merseyside.
The excellent work being undertaken by teams at the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – by delivering the UK’s best performance for aiding patients who have suffered a hip fracture – led to them securing the Measuring, Reporting and Acting award. Hip fractures are notoriously problematic, with 20% of all sufferers nationally dying as a result of the trauma and suffering.
The Northumbria team’s work has seen mortality rates plummet locally – and the Trust receive widespread recognition from key stakeholders about the speed in which clinical and surgical teams are able to respond to the needs of patients, many who are elderly.
Meanwhile, Burton-based private healthcare provider Healthcare at Home lifted the award that recognises the innovative work being undertaken to support caregivers, staff and family. The company was one several non-NHS organisations among the 30 finalists.
And an innovative and far-reaching 18-month project delivered by Leicester City Primary Care Trust and Leicestershire and Rutlands NHS Trust, which delivered a wide range of tangible benefits to young people diagnosed with mental health problems, was widely praised by Judges after winning the Strengthening the Foundation category. The project team consulted widely with more than 20,000 young people and their families before implementing a plan that has had a major impact locally.
“Our awards this year demonstrate the patient experience is increasingly being recognised as a critical component driving the health service,” added Ruth Evans.
“There is still a long way to go before there is universal buy-in from senior managers for an improved patient experience across all hospitals in the UK. But we’ve seen real progress in the last 12 months – and this augurs well for 2012 and beyond.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Ruth Evans, Director, Patient Experience Network
Telephone: 07798 606610 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org