The HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards seek to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS and have successfully shortlisted Lancashire Care’s Older Adults Mental Health Team for this year’s awards.
The Trust Older Adults Inpatient Mental Health Wards have been successfully shortlisted in the ‘Improving Value in the Care of Older Patients’ category for their work in successfully implementing a new observation system for older adults, in order to enhance patient experience.
Previously, patients who intermittently presented at an increased level of risk to themselves and others were placed on continuous ‘Safe and Supportive Observations’, which were facilitated by one or more members of the nursing team. Staff working on the wards identified that the system was not always effective for patients and often resulted in increased challenging behaviours and at times could not always be adapted to suit the individual patient’s needs. Staff feedback also identified that morale was reduced due to the high levels of acuity and frequency the staff who were facilitating safe and supportive observations.
Following the implementation of the new zonal system, advanced care and dementia patients are now able to benefit from a new and improved observation system which reduces the level of challenging behaviour, reduces patient boredom and enables staff to provide safe patient care that is tailored to their needs.
Lisa Moorhouse, Head of Operations for the Mental Health Network and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are really proud to have been shortlisted for this award and to have introduced a system which improves outcomes for patients, improves staff wellbeing whilst also reducing the number of incidents and costs.
“The new zonal engagement and observation system was launched in 2017 in a bid to tackle escalating numbers of patients needing enhanced observations and the knock-on impact that this was having on both the patient experience and staff morale. At the time, any patients that were more dependent or that had risky behaviours were put on safe and supportive observations with staff checking on them continuously. The ward teams found that this approach was not working and could not always be adapted to suit the individual patient’s needs.
“The new systems now means that we have designated staff assigned to an area and managing the patients within this. This has had a really positive impact on staff morale, patients feel less restricted and we have also had some great feedback from patients and their families too!”
Dr Olufunso Aribisala from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are really pleased to have been shortlisted for this award and with how successfully the new zonal observation system has been introduced across our Dementia wards and most importantly what this means for the patients that are receiving our care.
“The system means that we have regular, experienced and skilled staff to care for patients and a process whereby staff are able to build positive, therapeutic relationships with patients and know them as individuals. We have received some fantastic feedback from staff and relatives. Patients who pose a risk to themselves or others are still receiving continuous observation but in the least restrictive manner, resulting in less boredom and an improved experience for the patients, their carers and relatives.
“We are pleased that our team has been recognised nationally and we look forward to celebrating all of the achievements on the evening!”
The Value in Healthcare Awards recognise excellent use of resources, but they also seek out examples of demonstrable improvement in outcomes, both within back office functions and clinical initiatives. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 23 May 2019 at Manchester Central, for more information please visit https://value.hsj.co.uk/.