There’s such a buzz here at Spiral Health, not only is our nurse-led rehabilitation unit in Blackpool is a finalist in both the Care of older people category of the Nursing Times Awards 2013 But and here is the big BUT… We are also finalists in the Compassionate Patient Care category of the Health Service Journal Awards 2013.  Both magazines introduced patient care categories to their award schemes in the wake of the Francis report, which highlighted serious shortfalls in patient care at the Mid Staffs NHS Trust.

We attracted the attention of the award judges because of an initiative we’ve implemented in partnership with Helen Sanderson Associates. Together, we’ve developed a patient-centred journey for all patients admitted to our wards, which ensures that at every stage of their hospital stay, patients are treated as real people, not just patients with medical conditions.

The patient-centred journey includes a number of innovative aspects, such as:

  • Personal profiles of all patients (not just medical ones) help staff get to know patients as real people and understand what makes them tick.
  • All medical planning meetings are held at bedsides rather than behind closed doors and involve patients and family members. This improves communication with the patients and those who will care for them after they return home.
  • A nurse telephones the patient a week after they leave the hospital, to boost morale and check on progress.

Many of the techniques used are simple but strikingly effective. For example, each day patients are asked to name one thing that would make it a good day for them. This is noted on a board above their beds. Patients have asked for such things as a hair wash, a bubble bath, a bacon sandwich, a walk outside, a visit from a friend. But these awards are really for our hard working staff team that have been tireless working away to make the initiative a routine part of the high quality day to day service we provide here at Spiral Health.