Exceptional Healthcare Awards - Best Improvement in Patient Experience

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

North Bristol NHS Trust is honouring outstanding members of staff and volunteers with its Exceptional Healthcare Awards.

The 2015 awards, supported by Southmead Hospital Charity, recognise and reward the hard work of staff and volunteers at the Trust.

The awards will take place on Friday (November 20) and in the lead up to the ceremony we are showcasing the shortlisted nominees in each category.

Today we are showcasing the shortlist for the Best Improvement in Patient Experience. This award recognises the teams or individuals who have made changes to the working environment and/ or practises that have improved the patient experience.


Dementia Team

The Dementia Team has been shortlisted in the Exceptional Healthcare Awards

Specialty Doctor Judy Haworth and the Dementia Team set up the first Memory Café in an acute care setting run in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Since the drop-in sessions were launched last year more than 300 patients and carers – including those who are also staff – have attended.

The Memory Café provides a relaxed setting with tea, coffee and cake, where people can speak to hospital staff or a support worker from the Alzheimer’s Society about any queries they have, or to be signposted to organisations that might be of use to them.

The initiative was highly commended at the recent BMJ Awards in the Dementia Team of the Year category.

The team has also developed an innovative new Dementia Care Bundle, which focuses on person-centred care and not only benefits patients with dementia or cognitive impairment but all patients within the Trust.

The nomination said: “The team support inpatient wards to ensure that excellent care is delivered to our patients with dementia.”

Judy said the Memory Café has continued to evolve since it was set up last year.

“We continue to have people coming every week who have never been before, so clearly it meets a need,” she said.

“People are coming to it with different reasons and some of them are people who are not in the hospital but have heard about us and come along to get their questions answered.

“We were really happy to be shortlisted for the award and felt it validated what we are doing to know that other people recognised it.”


Laura Hughes and Anita Philip – Neurological Advanced Spinal Nurse Practitioners

Advanced Spinal Nurse Practitioners Laura Hughes and Anita Philip have been shortlisted in the Exceptional Healthcare Awards

Laura and Anita set up a telephone follow-up clinic service for non-complex spine neurosurgery patients.

Initially the service was offered as a pilot but after it was trialled, positive patient and consultant feedback led to it being expanded to cover a broader group of patients.

The agreed telephone follow-up guidelines ensure clear pathways are followed for each surgery and in line with departmental and national standards.

The clinics measure patient outcome following surgery, assesses patient satisfaction with their treatment, provide the opportunity to give feedback and also identify patients who could be discharged from Neurosurgical care or those that need to see the surgeon for face to face assessments.

They provide a timely service, freeing up clinic slots for patients who need to see a doctor which in turn relieves the pressure on resources as well as giving reassurance to patients.

Calls only take up 10 minutes of patients’ time and mean they do not need to travel into the hospital.

A dedicated support line is available for all spinal patients for advice and timely help which offers patients a valuable lifeline which ultimately enhances  the patient experience. It is also accessed by primary health professionals for spine patient management. In addition Laura and Anita, they participate in daily ward activities and positively impact on inpatient length of stay.

Laura said: “I am elated to be recognised for our contribution to patient experience.  Throughout the last eight years, positive experience  has been the motivator of what our Advanced Nurse Practitioner Neurosurgical spine service has  strived to achieve. 

“Through audit and research projects the voice of our patients has always guided service development and always will.   We listened, and as a result offering the patient the opportunity to seek support from the comfort of their homes was born.  This not only impacts positively on our patients’ experience but it also relieves the pressure on NBT resources as well as continuing  to positively impact on patient length of stay.  As a result I am proud of what we have achieved for this patient group.”      


Rachel White, Community Children’s Occupational Therapy – Eastgate Children’s Centre

Community Children's Occupational Therapist Rachel White has been shortlisted in the Exceptional Healthcare Awards


Rachel has designed an innovative programme to support children with Developmental Co-ordination Difficulties (DCD). DCD can limit children’s ability to carry out daily living activities and their potential to succeed at school.

Children with difficulties learning new skills can benefit from tasks being broken down into smaller components and Stepping Stones - the project Rachel has worked on a project for the past five years - is based on becoming proficient in a range of motor tasks.

The programme is suitable for children aged five – 18 and is divided into two sections – learning basic skills and specific sports skills.

Tasks ranging from standing on one leg to catching a ball and playing football, basketball or netball are broken down into levels for the child to work through and they receive a certificate of achievement when they reach the target set for them.

The programme can be used both in schools and at home by parents to support their children to learn new motor skills. There is also scope within the use of the programme for home and school communication and partnership.

Initially the project was piloted in ten schools throughout Bristol and South Gloucestershire with Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) working with children who struggle in PE lessons and have significant difficulties with handwriting.

Feedback from the pilot was positive and now an established publisher with a nationwide distribution network is interested in publishing the programme.

Stepping Stones has gone on to be used as a valuable resource for use by the CCHP Community Children's Occupational Therapy service.

Rachel said: “I am delighted and was completely overwhelmed to be nominated in the first place and even happier to be shortlisted. I am passionate about the possibilities of the  ‘Stepping Stones’ programme.

“I want to build on the successes of the piloting of the project and my goal is to see it published within the next year. It is my dream that ‘Stepping Stones’ will reach and help children and families that I won’t get to meet in person.”