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Annual Report 2016 – 2017
Home > News > NDHT could be the provider trust of the year

NDHT could be the provider trust of the year

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has been shortlisted for provider trust of the year in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2017.

This is the latest in a series of achievements for staff at the Trust, which include being described as ‘delivering on all fronts’ by the chief executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey, and being chosen to exhibit their work at the national NHS Providers conference for the second year running.

The HSJ Awards are perhaps the most prestigious awards in healthcare and showcase outstanding practice and innovations. The provider trust of the year category recognises organisations that are handling the challenges faced by the NHS well and who are offering excellent, patient-focused care, with an understanding of how they need to adapt with the times.

In recent years, the Trust has fundamentally changed the way it runs it services to focus on supporting people in their own homes to promote independence, with hospital admissions only when necessary.

Dr Alison Diamond, chief executive of the Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of our staff for getting us here. It has been a real journey and it has not always been easy, but we’ve never been afraid to do things differently and the people we support through our services are reaping the benefits of that.”

Staff have been recognised for the improvements they have made to the three key stages of a person’s journey through the Trust’s services. This includes how staff support people at home to promote independence and prevent admissions, make sure inpatient services are as effective as possible, and make sure people return home at the right time, with the right support.

The Trust’s health and social care teams now support 2,500 people to remain independent in their own homes at any one time and prevented 2,500 unnecessary admissions to hospital in 2016/17.

Staff have worked hard to improve the movement of patients through the Trust’s services and this has resulted in the number of people waiting longer than four hours to be seen in the emergency department at North Devon District Hospital reducing by 17% between winter 2015/16 and 2016/17. In 2016/17, the Trust was in the top ten nationally in every quarter of the year against this target and was even top in the country on more than one occasion.

When admitted to hospital, the length of time patients stay in hospital is now one day less, improving on performance that was already one day better than the target set nationally.

By looking at what support patients need to return home safely as soon as they are admitted, the number of delays in moving people from one place to another reduced by a quarter between winter 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Dr Diamond added: “What is remarkable is that our staff have made all of these improvements to patient care whilst achieving our savings target for 2016/17. They also voted us as the top employer in the South West in the last national NHS staff survey and in the top 10% of trusts nationally.

“Having innovative staff who feel motivated and empowered to make positive changes for our patients is the reason we are such a successful organisation. They are our most valuable asset and they really deserve this recognition.”

The improvements to the Trust’s services have been supported by a number of innovations:

  • In July 2016, NDHT became the first NHS trust to enter the social care market, managing care providers across northern and mid Devon to organise carer support for people in their own homes. 97% of care needs in northern and mid Devon are now filled within four hours.
  • The Trust’s stroke team has developed a website that signposts stroke patients to apps to help them with their recovery
  • The Trust has launched a project to make diabetes care more joined-up between GPs and hospital services and to give patients the tools to manage their condition
  • Staff have made dementia care more person-centred through introducing John’s Campaign to the Trust’s wards and making their own version of the national ‘This Is Me’ document, which people with dementia can use to record their likes and dislikes, to name a few examples, so that staff can deliver personalised care
  • The Trust is leading a project that brings public sector and community organisations together to improve the health and wellbeing of people across northern Devon

Roger French, chairman of the Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award, and I am proud to work with such innovative people. Congratulations to our staff, volunteers and everybody else who contributes to making the Trust the fantastic organisation that it is – you really deserve this.”

The Trust will find out if they have won at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 22 November.

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