Winners announced for healthcare insight awards

The non-profit Patient Experience Network (PEN) has announced winners for its national healthcare awards to recognize outstanding initiatives and national good practice across the NHS.

The ceremony in Birmingham on 1 March included the Using Insight for Improvement category, which is specifically supported by NHS England to identify fantastic examples of work across the NHS in using patient and staff feedback and insight to help make services as good as possible.

Shortlisted projects each fit into one of four sub-categories, spotlighting work across healthcare providers to act on feedback, improve accessibility and harness staff feedback.  There is also an award to recognise outstanding insight work by an individual or small team.

From these, an overall category winner is chosen by the judges.  This year, the winning project is by Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for ‘Small Steps – big Changes’, an initiative to engage their staff more in using patient feedback data from a range of sources – such as surveys, the Friends and Family Test and routine comments to staff – to turn into action to improve patient experience.

The project began on one ward and is currently being rolled out across more areas of the trust’s work.  Judges felt it was innovative in the way it empowered staff to take ownership of issues identified by patients and to drive changes that could make a difference – even if only to a few people at a time. The trust felt it helped them to create stronger teams on their wards too.

The other sub-category winners this year are:

  • A moving project to help people with a learning disability understand and access the forensic processes at a the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which supports victims in Greater Manchester and Cheshire;
  • A simple but innovative initiative at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to improve communication between patients and staff on an elderly care ward by piloting the use of hearing devices;
  • An initiative at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, in outer North East London, to improve end of life care for patients who are dying and for their loved ones via services at their Daisy Bereavement Centre.

The Using Insight for Improvement category is in its third year, having originally being launched to identify good practice using the NHS Friends and Family Test feedback tool only but it was then broadened to recognise all kinds of insight work in healthcare.  Since 2016 it has been integrated into the Patient Experience Network National Awards.

One of the judges was Clare Enston, NHS England’s Head of Insight & Feedback, who said:  “We have seen some heart-warming and impressive initiatives that have shown real action on what patients and staff say about the quality of their care, using that insight to make services even better. This year’s entries show considerable innovation and commitment across the NHS.  During May and June, we will be showcasing the ‘best in class’ initiatives at regional events so that good practice can be transferred to other parts of the NHS.”

Shortlisted entries are also published as a set of national case studies, both online and in print, by the Patient Experience Network.

There were 17 categories of awards, along with a number of other honours, announced at the event.  Attendees also selected an overall winner on the day.  This was Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, who had been the victors in the Innovative Use of Technology category for their healthcare app for children.

For a full list of the results, please see the PEN website, where they will shortly publish full case studies of each project to share the good ideas.