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Northumbria recognised as best in NHS for patient experience work

Friday, 04 July, 2014
Northumbria recognised as best in NHS for patient experience work

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has once again been named among the best in the country for improving patients’ experiences of care after winning two national awards.

The Trust triumphed for the fourth consecutive year at the Patient Experience Network national awards (PENNA) held in February – the only dedicated awards for healthcare organisations actively working to continuously improve patient experience.

Widely recognised as having one of the best patient experience programmes in the whole NHS, Northumbria Healthcare picked up awards for ‘communicating effectively with patients and families’ and for ‘personalisation of care’.

Every year around 2,000 people choose Northumbria for their planned hip or knee replacements at one of the most highly regarded orthopaedic departments in the North East.  The Trust was recognised for its work to improve communication at all stages of a patient’s journey by keeping patients and their families informed about what to expect before, during and after their planned operations.

As part of the care pathway at Northumbria, orthopaedic patients are contacted a few days after their surgery to make sure they have all the support they need during their rehabilitation  – either at home or in the community and also have access to a dedicated ‘orthopaedic helpline’ to answer any queries following surgery.

The Trust was also recognised for the personalised care being delivered to help ensure elderly people living in care homes across North Tyneside are taking the most effective medication.

The innovative medicines project involves a team of various NHS professionals and care home nurses working with care home residents in North Tyneside and their families to review the medication they are taking and make joint decisions about any changes.  The project aims to reduce the use of medicines unnecessarily to ensure safe care and avoid waste.

Since the project started, almost a quarter of unnecessary medications have been stopped resulting in emotional and physical improvements for elderly residents. The project received national funding from The Health Foundation in 2012 as part of its Shine programme to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to win two awards and once again be named among the best in the country for improving patients’ experiences of receiving healthcare.

“These latest awards are credit to the hard work and determination of staff right across our organisation who are passionate about making sure our patients receive the highest quality of personalised care.

“The two winning projects demonstrate the breadth of work our teams are delivering and how we are committed to making real improvements to all of our patients, whether they are in hospital, in the community or at home.

“We are very passionate about listening to our patients and very proud of the innovative forward-thinking approaches are teams are delivering on the frontline which are making a real difference to our patients.”

Northumbria Healthcare was also runner-up in two categories: in ‘continuity of care’ for helping patients to recover following critical illness and for ‘patient experience professional of the year – a posthumous award for John Dowswell, from Morpeth.

Overall the Trust was shortlisted in eight of the 11 categories at the PENNA awards which come just a few months after Northumbria Healthcare’s approach to patient experience contributed to it being named ‘provider trust of the year 2013’ at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) 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.

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.