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Pathways Support Team highly commended at national awards

Posted: 06/12/19

The Health Business awards ceremony stage - people sit at round tables in a pink-lit room, with a backdrop showing the awards' logo

The South of Tyne Pathway Support Team celebrated yesterday afternoon at The Health Business Awards in London, after being highly commended in the Patient Safety category.

This award recognises NHS Trusts which have made great strides in providing a safe hospital environment for patients.

The Pathway Support Team’s work was carried out over four Older Peoples’ Mental Health wards at Monkwearmouth Hospital in Sunderland.

Our project has improved patient safety by getting people out of hospital and back into their home more quickly. Prolonged time spent away from loved ones can be distressing, especially for those who may be confused and disorientated. Extended periods in hospital can also be disempowering, reducing people’s ability to live life independently and affecting their wellbeing.

The project has also shown how much of a difference health and social care teams can make by working together, helping people’s journey through services flow smoothly and addressing all their needs.

The data and feedback we’ve gathered have proven the impact our work has had on people, and to be recognised by the Health Business Awards, among all the other amazing NHS teams who were nominated, is a real honour for the team.

Rob BaileyNurse Consultant in the Pathway Support Team

The project was started when demand for inpatient mental health beds for older people in Sunderland and South Tyneside was exceeding the number available.

Nurses needed to be better informed, supported and empowered, so the project team appointed a senior nurse and social worker to support staff to work more collaboratively. Having dedicated staff to support patients’ progression made the service more effective and responsive without compromising on safety or standards of care.

Bed occupancy halved from 58 patients in December 2017, to 29 patients (and 13 empty beds) in December 2018. Average lengths of stay reduced from 95 to 69 days, there is now no delay from referral to accessing the service, and admission is immediately available near to peoples’ home area.

The Health Business Awards have an established reputation for showcasing success stories in the health sector. The Awards recognise and celebrate the significant contributions made each year by organisations and individuals that work inside and alongside the NHS.