Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) is in the running to win a national award for its work to improve patient safety in local care homes.
The Trust’s North Devon care homes team has been shortlisted for the Patient Safety Awards 2016, organised by leading publications the Health Service Journal and the Nursing Times.
The team supports care homes to improve the safety and quality of care for their residents. It works with staff at around 70 local care homes and focuses on the six Cs: compassion, commitment, competence, courage, communication and care.
The number of emergency admissions to hospital from care homes has decreased, the amount of safeguarding investigations has fallen significantly and staff’s knowledge of various conditions has increased markedly following training.
Dr Alison Diamond, chief executive, said: “We are very proud of the dedication, commitment and hard work the team continues to display and it is fantastic they have been shortlisted again, giving them the opportunity to add to the accolades they have already received.”
The Trust is one of ten organisations to be shortlisted in the Education and Training in Patient Safety category.
Other awards that the care homes team have won include The Guardian Public Services Award 2013 for Partnership Excellence and Education and Training Team of the Year in the NHS Health Education England Star Awards 2016. They also won the overall award for NHS Values.
An example of the team’s work in education and training is the forum they held as part of Dementia Awareness Week last month, to raise awareness of issues surrounding dementia.
More than 120 people attended the event, which featured three renowned speakers on dementia. They were Ian Sherriff, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Rural Dementia Friendly Task and Finish Group, David Sheard, CEO and founder of Dementia Care Matters and Tommy Whitelaw, project engagement lead for Dementia Carer Voices and a long-time campaigner for dementia awareness.
Ian Sherriff, who is also academic partnership lead for dementia at Plymouth University, said: “The team should be very proud of their work. They are changing the way people on the ground support, and make a difference to the lives of, people with dementia and their carers.”
Rae Vanstone, care home manager for Kenwith Castle care home in Bideford, was at the forum event. She said: “I was overwhelmed and inspired. The team did an amazing job getting such a fabulous day together- I will remember that session for the rest of my life.”
The team will find out if it has won a Patient Safety award at the ceremony in Manchester on 5 July 2016.
Further comments about the work of the care homes team:
“The members of the team are amazing listeners who really make you feel worthy of your job, they offer both support and guidance to ensure that the service you provide and the people we look after is always the best that it can be. I have always found the team members to be very conscientious and honest”. (Care home manager)
“The Care Homes Team have worked collaboratively with CQC to ensure their training packages provide services with the right information to keep people safe” (Local CQC inspector)
“After the training session I felt inspired and started implementing/changing practice within my care home. I now have the confidence to make these changes and know that support from the team is always available” (Carer from local care home)
Alastair McLellan, Health Service Journal Editor, and Jenni Middleton, Nursing Times Editor, said:
“Congratulations to the finalists of the Patient Safety Awards 2016. This year the awards really highlight those organisations who are not only doing their day jobs, but going above and beyond every day to deliver exceptional patient care and safety. The projects submitted demonstrate those who are constantly innovating and overcoming challenges to put patients’ needs first.”
Information about the awards, including judging criteria, can be found at: