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Northumbria Healthcare patient experience success

Friday, 04 July, 2014
Northumbria Healthcare patient experience success

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has once again been recognised nationally for listening to patients and improving experiences of care.

Widely recognised as having one of the best patient experience programmes in the NHS, Northumbria Healthcare has been shortlisted in eight of the eleven categories in the 2014 Patient Experience Network (PEN) awards – the only dedicated national awards for healthcare organisations working to improve patient experience.

The nominations cover a wide range of areas and demonstrate improvements to the patient experience across the Trust’s hospitals and in the community in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Some of the projects shortlisted include helping patients to recover following critical illness, improving the care of patients with dementia in the community and helping to reduce the number of patients readmitted to hospital following a knee replacement.

The nominations come just a few months after Northumbria Healthcare’s approach to patient experience contributed to it being named provider trust of the year at the prestigious Health Service Journal awards.

Northumbria Healthcare was also singled out by the Government in its response to the Francis Inquiry as an example of best practice for its comprehensive programme of listening to patients.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As an organisation we are committed to improving our patients’ experiences of using our services and it is a fantastic achievement to be nominated in so many categories for such different projects which make a difference to patients in hospital and in the community.

“The nominations are down to the hard work and commitment of our teams on the ground who deliver these improvements on a daily basis and I would like to pay tribute to them.

“Being shortlisted for these national awards round off a very successful year for the trust and its approach to patient experience which can only be good news for our patients.”

Every year Northumbria Healthcare listens to the views of more than 25,000 patients to understand what people think about the care it provides. This is done at different stages of the patient journey in order to gain a full picture and results are shared openly and transparently with the public.

Amongst the nominations is a posthumous award for John Dowswell for patient experience professional of the year. John died in July last year, aged 55, after a brief illness and worked as an operational service development team manager in Northumberland.

Over 20 years working in Northumberland, John, a social worker from Morpeth, set up forums for people with dementia and their families, played a pivotal part in developing ‘This is Me’ to help improve care for people with dementia and led the Northumberland Ageing Well programme to help people stay active in later life.

Ann Brown, operations manager, involvement and service development at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “John was a visionary, compassionate and energetic man. His charisma, wealth of knowledge and experience combined with his humanity made him unique in so many ways.

“John was also inspired by the people he met every day, no matter what their problems, their background or how they chose to behave he saw everyone as simply struggling to make the best of their life.

“He inspired real involvement, listening, empowerment and positive change – he made a difference.”

John was also nominated for the North East NHS Leadership Academy awards for NHS Inspirational Leader of the Year.

The PEN award winners will be announced on 5 February.