Skip to main content Skip to footer

Double delight as two UHNM departments shortlisted for three HSJ Patient Safety Awards

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) is proud to announce it has been shortlisted for three HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

Patients on the Older Adult wards at the Royal Stoke University Hospital are benefitting from bespoke activities aimed at maintaining mobility, led by a team of Diversional Therapists. And now the team behind the project have been nominated in the ‘Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year’ and ‘Improving Care for Older People Initiative of the Year’ categories.

Whilst staff in UHNM’s Critical Care Unit have received a nomination in the ‘Harnessing a Human Factors Approach to Improve Patient Safety’ category after adopting a new safety management system to identify and reduce risks for staff and patients. 

Claire de Klerk, Senior Sister for Quality and Safety in UHNM’s Critical Care Unit said: “We have focussed on quality improvement journey to improve the safety and learning culture of the department. We aimed to improve psychological safety and improve the multidisciplinary team working to create the environment that enabled the team to pro-actively manage risk. We are adopting a Safety Management System approach to promote a safer system by embracing human factors and systems thinking. Interventions and changes have been made to improve patient and staff safety, staff feel able to speak up and make suggestions to improve care, and we now focus on developing controls and assurance for key risks.

“As a team we are overwhelmed to be shortlisted for the HSJ Patient Safety Awards to showcase the work that we have been doing. There has been a huge commitment from the multidisciplinary team on Critical Care in the last few years using continuous quality improvement tools to understand how to improve the way we work, making the patients and staff safer. We continue to look at human factors and create opportunities to share and develop processes across the team minimising risk. It’s great to have a team willing to try new things and we are incredibly proud of this.”      

Speaking about her nominations, Lee-ann Boardman, Matron for Older Adults at UHNM said: “The ambition of this project was to create a team of Diversional Therapists that would work alongside our nursing teams on the Older Adults inpatient wards to assist with planning and promoting patient activities, to engage patients and encourage patients to maintain mobility. The overall impact of this new service was to improve patient experience and motivate patients to want to sit up, get dressed and to keep moving.

"The Diversional Therapist role has been pivotal in providing an environment for our patients whereby activities are at hand to promote patient independence, enhance their mobility and to encourage and assist their recovery.  Activities are tailored on patient requirements and play an active role in reconditioning our patients and advocates UHNM’s 'Sit Up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving' campaign with the overall aim to improve patient experience, maintain patient ability, promote independence, and support a reduction in inpatient falls within older adults.

“In the first three months of the project, patient falls across the older adult wards reduced by 64 per-cent, and there has been a dramatic fall in the number of reports of violent and aggressive patients. I’m so proud of our team of seven Diversional Therapists, who have exceeded our expectations and things can only grow and get better. I feel they were the missing piece of our jigsaw, putting patients at the heart of everything, making sure they are supported, mobile and of course happy.”

She added: “I was so shocked to be nominated in not one but two categories, I literally ran down the corridor to colleagues screaming with excitement after finding out. To be nominated in the HSJ Patient Safety Awards is incredible and well-deserved recognition for our Diversional Therapists and cements the fabulous job they are doing.”

The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony in Manchester on Monday 16 September.