This time last year Spiral Health CIC was a newborn. In April 2012 our Bispham hospital unit had become the first NHS bed-based service to transform itself into a social enterprise. One year on, we are proud of our achievements and are focussed on an ambitious goal: to become the North West’s provider of choice for nurse-led therapy services.

Time and time again, patients and visitors comment on the quality of our patient care. When we launched Spiral Health we were determined to excel in this area and we’ve developed a unique approach. Our patient-centred journey aims to understand what matters to our patients as real people and to treat them as individuals. If we can get this right, all else will follow.

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I like to sing the praises of my team for their all achievements to date in developing our pioneering approach to patient care. In today’s post, I’d like to step back and let others do the talking.

First, in December we had a routine visit from the Care Quality Commission and the report that followed, which confirmed that we met all their requirements, included many references to our approach to patient care.

The report said, “Patients said the staff team were very good and described them as kind and friendly. ….Patients using the service told us they were getting the care and support they wanted. They said they had their needs assessed before deciding to transfer to the unit…. They told us they were supported to have the treatment they wanted at a pace that suited their recovery.” The report said much more besides and all of it was positive.

It also included many positive quotes from our patients:

“The care here is first class. I saw (Zandra, the nurse assessor) at the Victoria and she explained what the unit was about and what I could expect. I was even more surprised when I arrived and they knew my name and had all the right information about me. They had discussed the transfer with my wife as well.”

“I didn’t remember much about coming here as it was a bit of a daze. When I woke up I thought I was in heaven as this place is so good. My stamina and strength has improved and I am getting much better.”

“I think the staff here are better trained than those at the Victoria. They have more time and explain every little detail. I have seen them deal with some very difficult patients and they take it in their stride.”

“Coming here was the right decision. I feel much more confident. I’m up and walking around by myself.” Then, in January, the Nursing Standard featured our patient-centred journey, focussing their reporting on the fact that we meet all our patients before admission and spend time getting to know their ‘personalities and preferences’. In the article, the RCN’s assistant head of nursing, Tim Curry, commended our work and suggested other hospitals should try a similar approach.

And just last week came the icing on the cake. Gary Doherty, the newly appointed chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, paid us a visit. He said later, “I enjoyed the time I spent in the unit, particularly talking to the patients who were very positive regarding the care they received. I was also impressed by the work they are doing to use patient feedback to really develop a patient-centred journey.”