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“It’s the smallest things that can have the biggest impact on patient care.”
Dr Kate Granger announces Awards for Compassionate Care winners at NHS Expo.
Speaking alongside Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England on the second day of the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014, Dr Granger reflected on examples of outstanding patient-centred care as well as her own experiences as a doctor and a patient.
The winner of the individual category was Dr Sophie Edwards, a consultant geriatrician at North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust. Dr Edwards was nominated for her work to improve the experience of patients with dementia.
Dr Edwards developed ‘10 things about me’, an initiative which sees each inpatient with dementia at her Trust having a card at the end of their bed listing 10 things about them and their background. The information enables ward staff and other staff the patients come into contact with to build and maintain engaging and meaningful relationships with patients who have dementia.
Dr Edwards also introduced a ‘carers’ passport’ to encourage carers to come into the acute setting to provide help and support for the person with dementia, and facilitate free parking and open access to the ward. She has also increased dementia screening on admission and introduced massage therapy for dementia patients.
The winner of the Kate Granger Award for Compassionate Care in the organisational or team category was the Teenage and Young Adult Service at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, for its work with young people diagnosed with cancer.
The Teenage and Young Adult Service (TYA) provides care for 16 to 24 year-olds from across the West Midlands who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Following a principle of ‘Young Person first, Cancer Diagnosis second’, the TYA cares for oncology and haematology patients going through a range of cancer treatments and makes a point of keeping services as flexible as possible to maintain ‘normality’ for the young people it supports.
Its Young Persons Unit has an 11-bedded ward and two-chair day unit, offering a ‘home from home’ environment with open visiting, free Wi-Fi, a ‘mobiles on’ policy and extensive IT facilities.
The service provides flexible patient care, including admissions and treatments, around 21st birthday parties, school proms and other major milestones in young people’s lives and keeps things as normal as possible for young adults by holding back on ‘lights on’ until 10am, as well as taking its services out of the unit for young people undergoing treatment elsewhere in the hospital or community.
The awards were named after Dr Granger and established by the NHS Employers organisation and NHS England. Dr Granger and her husband Chris Pointon chose the two winners from 13 finalists, who had been shortlisted for 80 nominations across the health and service.
Speaking today, Dr Granger said: “It was a difficult decision but the winners really are outstanding examples of patient-centred care.”
“It is often the smallest things that can make the biggest impact on patient care – things like body language and introducing yourself to your patients. This is certainly what I have found as a patient and an observer of the way care is delivered.”
Representatives of the two winners were presented with engraved glassware at a prize giving ceremony at NHS Expo 2014, where Dr Granger was also presented with a surprise award for her campaign #hellomynameis.
Dr Granger’s campaign, which has spread throughout the NHS since she launched it in September 2013 via her popular blog and through Twitter, promotes the importance of clinical staff ensuring they introduce themselves to patients at each contact.
Speaking alongside Dr Granger, Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “Great, compassionate patient care is about listening to patients, talking to patients and responding to their needs. It’s also about having the courage to step back when you think you might not be doing something right and having the ability to reflect and constantly improve the care we provide for patients.”