A coveted national award for End of Life Care has been won by a team from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust‟s End of Life team scooped the award at the annual Patient Safety Awards at the International convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham on Monday, July 7.
Team members have worked tirelessly over the last six years to completely transform End of Life Care for patients and their relatives.
Judges said they were “blown away” by the team‟s ground-breaking work and commitment to delivering excellence in End of Life care with the panel adding that the Trust‟s entry provided evidence of a strong team culture and effective service development.
Andrea Whitfield, Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care for the Trust, said:
I’m thrilled and delighted for the team but also for the Trust and our colleagues who have done so much to ensure that we provide the best possible care for patients and their families.
It’s really positive and a great accolade for everyone on the team in the hospital and in the community.
We set up our project to transform End of Life care in 2009. It was prompted by a patient’s experience. A young man wanted to be cared for at home but at that time we had no safe way of facilitating it. Now we have an End of Life project team consisting of many people within the Trust who have a passion for End of Life care. We have developed this with a focus on training to give our colleagues the confidence and expertise to care for patients.
Our patients can be assured they will get the best End of Life care whether they die in hospital or out of hospital.
Over the last 18 months the team has been doing intensive ward-based Transform Training with Trust staff. Transform Training enables all members of staff working for the Trust to give patients consistently high levels of care.
Marion Bennie, Project Manager for the End of Life team, said:
I’m absolutely elated that the team has won the award. It’s a team that has gelled and everyone is accountable. We are constantly measuring the success of the project using data collected from staff and patients so that we can see the benefits that we are bringing to the Trust.
The team has a system called the Amber Care Bundle for patients whose recovery is uncertain. Patients receiving Amber Care are monitored closely on a daily basis and all staff are made aware of their needs. Amber Care also gives patients the chance to say how and where they would like to be cared for at the end of life.
When patients are on Amber Care we follow their pathway from the time they are first seen though to discharge. We start mapping together a story of that patient‟s time with us.
Readmission rates in the last 100 days of life can be very high. Amber Care has helped to reduce admissions and has allowed more patients to be looked after in their favoured place of care.
Data collected from patient experience surveys is also used to improve staff training.
Staff tell us how confident they feel after the training and that they feel more able to have difficult conversations with patients
We do posters for staff with their results on them so they can put them up on the wards.
We were told that one of the reasons we won the award was for our ground-breaking data collection work.
The members of the team are fantastic. They‟re completely dedicated and have such deep compassion for their patients.”
Kellie Gittins, one of the Transform Team trainers for the Trust, said:
I feel really proud that the team has won this award. When they announced our name it was amazing.
All our hard work has paid off. So far we have trained about 1,300 people.
It has been a massive challenge because the hospital is so busy. We have been doing formal training and ward-based training.
Amber Care is brand new and we have rolled that out from scratch.
We‟ve had fantastic feedback from out patient experience surveys. Patients feel supported and we have increased staff confidence.
Since the roll-out of Amber Care the rate of inappropriate readmissions to hospital has dropped. It has gone from 33 per cent down to nine per cent.
The team is very supportive. We‟re all so passionate and we share the same goal – to improve things for patients. Everyone goes that extra mile.
Lorraine Tymon, End of Life Educator for the Trust, said:
It was wonderful to win the award.
As a team we‟ve won six awards for End of Life care. It‟s all about team work.
We are lucky to have Andrea Whitfield driving the whole project forward. She has fought hard to keep the team and the project going.
Lorraine said everyone at the Trust recognises that having the best possible End of Life care is extremely important:
It‟s the last thing you can do for somebody,
It‟s a privilege to get to know these patients and to help to fulfil their wishes.
It‟s everybody‟s right to have good End of Life care.
Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
I am delighted that our End of Life team has won this national Patient Safety Award.
The results of the project so far are incredibly impressive; for example, patient and staff feedback is excellent, more patients can die in their place of choosing and readmissions are reduced.
It is a hugely dedicated team and everyone has risen to the challenge of caring for patients with many complex conditions whilst also looking after their family and carers. They have vastly improved patient care.
With 17 categories, the awards cover every aspect of Patient Safety from Best New Product, Innovation or Service to Cancer Care.
Jenni Middleton, Editor of Nursing Times, said:
Our winners in The Patient Safety Awards aren’t just doing their day jobs, they are doing something exceptional.
They are going out of their way to put patients first so it has been a huge privilege to hand out our awards to these worthy set of finalists who have had the courage to challenge the status quo and innovate.
The public and the media often don’t appreciate how creative those working in health are but these projects prove how dynamic and proactive our healthcare organisations are when it comes to putting patients’ needs and patient safety first.
They should be congratulated for outstanding work for their pioneering patient safety projects.
For more information on the Patient Safety Awards 2015 and to see the full list of winners go to http://www.patientsafetyawards.co.uk/
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Notes to Editors About Patient Safety Awards
Now in their seventh year, the Patient Safety Awards continue to recognise and reward outstanding practice within the NHS and independent healthcare organisations. Patient safety is the business of every individual involved in healthcare, whether they are on the board or on the ward, making this the only event where you will be able to acknowledge your organisation‟s achievements with your entire team.
For all media enquiries please contact Ingrid Kent, communications support officer, on 01253 956 875 or Ingrid.Kent@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk