Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s care homes team took first prize for the best poster presentation at the annual Queen’s Nursing Institute Conference.
The winning poster highlighted the work the North Devon care homes team does to support independent providers of care within North Devon and demonstrated examples of innovation in practice.
Sarah-Winfield Davies, safeguarding adult nurse, said: “It’s an honour to have won this presentation and I was delighted to accept the prize on behalf of the team. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far and look forward to continuing this success.”
The care homes team provides free training, education and support to independent care providers in North Devon, including care homes and domiciliary care providers. The poster explained what the team provides and highlighted some of the improvements made over the past three years with their support.
These improvements include a decline of 22.8% in hospital admissions from care homes over the last two years. This was achieved by providing education and support to care home staff, and assisting with the development of personalised plans for residents, which aimed to prevent, identify and manage episodes of illness or injury that could otherwise result in hospital admission.
There has also been a reduction in 999 calls and reliance on GP services, and a reduction in safeguarding enquiries due to the supportive working relationship between care home staff and the care homes team.
First prize at the Queen’s Nursing Institute Conference can now be added to the team’s growing record of achievement, which includes Education and Training Team of the Year and the overall Chair’s Award for NHS Values at Health Education England’s Star Awards in 2016, and the Partnership Excellence Award at the annual Guardian Public Services Awards in 2013. The team has also been shortlisted for the national Patient Safety Awards in both 2015 and 2016.
Dr Alison Diamond, chief executive of the Trust, said: “This is another fantastic achievement for the team and is a real testament to the enthusiasm they continue to display in supporting care homes in Northern Devon.
“Education and training are key to improving patient care and the team does a fantastic job working with independent providers to help residents remain independent.
Last year the team held an exhibition and poster presentation at the West of England Academic Health Science Network’s annual conference at Cheltenham Racecourse, winning an award in the People Working Together category. This year, the team was selected to hold a poster presentation about its joint work with care homes at another major event; the Older People’s Forum and Joint Conference in April, led by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and British Geriatrics Society (BGS). This November, they have also been selected to hold a poster presentation at the RCN International Centenary Conference at the QEII Centre in London and at the South West Academic Health Science Network’s ‘Sharing Best Practice’ conference.
In May, the team held their own successful forum as part of Dementia Awareness Week, to raise awareness of issues surrounding dementia.
More than 120 people were at the event, which featured three well-known speakers on dementia.
Ian Sherriff, who is also academic partnership lead for dementia at Plymouth University, was at the event. He 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.”
Sarah Winfield-Davies, safeguarding adult nurse and nurse educator, was awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse in 2015 for her work within the team.
The care homes team is led by Tracey Morrish and consists of four nurse educators, one occupational therapist educator, one paramedic educator and a safeguarding nurse. They aim to improve the safety and quality of care for residents and enhance collaborative working between organisations. Since it was set up in 2012, the team has helped to improve patient experience and health outcomes for residents at nursing and residential care homes.