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SleepWell project highly commended at HSJ Patient Safety Awards

Posted: 16/11/20

The Positive and Safe Care team at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) has been ‘highly commended’ for the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards ‘Mental Health Initiative of the Year’ for their SleepWell pilot project.

The SleepWell pilot is a partnership between clinical and research staff at CNTW and undergraduate students and lecturers at Newcastle University. Problems sleeping are common on psychiatric wards due to ward environments and frequent checks on patients throughout the night, and the project set out to find ways of improving people’s sleep quality while on inpatient wards.

The team found that for many people, a ‘protected sleep period’ between midnight and 6am where no checks were carried out was safe and effective, and better sleep helped them to get the most out of the treatment they were receiving. Although many people still needed regular overnight checks to ensure their health and safety, about half of patients on the pilot wards were able to have protected sleep time with no disturbances.

To see the positive impact of our work recognised by the Health Service Journal is a huge honour for everyone involved in the pilot project. SleepWell is something our team are proud to have developed and supported to be implemented on our wards. Good sleep is often so hard to get while in hospital, and with SleepWell we are challenging this.

We are currently working hard to pass on what we have learned to other staff within CNTW, to help everyone get good sleep while they are under our care.

Rod BowlesHead of Positive and Safe Care at the Trust

Feedback from staff and patients on the wards involved in the SleepWell pilot, and their families and carers, has been overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting on how much more peaceful and settled the wards feel on an evening.

The SleepWell Project was also ‘highly commended’ in the Positive Practice in Mental Health awards last year.

If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, take a look at our Sleeping Problems self-help guide.