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North Cumbria NHS awards exceptional staff

[S]taff at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust (NCUH) have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and commitment, as part of the Trust’s reward and recognition scheme.

The #YouDidIt awards take place on a quarterly basis, where staff can nominate a colleague or team who have gone the extra mile, demonstrating the Trust’s values and behaviours over a prolonged period of time for the benefit of patients and staff. The nominations then go to a panel made up of staff members and staff representatives.

The latest winners are:

Ward 4 and multi-disciplinary team at West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven (WCH) 
The team in Whitehaven worked collaboratively with colleagues in other disciplines to reduce the amount of pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores) in patients on Ward 4. They used a patient story to help inspire staff to improve patient care with regard to pressure damage, offered activity sessions with the local college in the dayroom for patients, and took additional training in caring for pressure care for dementia patients. Ward 4 was part of the North pressure ulcer collaborative programme, supported by the Academic Health Science Network, and in December 2017 they won an award for overall improvements in the team. They lead by example, and are sharing their excellent patient safety working with other teams across the Trust.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) secretaries
The team handles queries from a range of patients with different communications requirements; including deafness, swallowing and speech difficulties, and they always ensure queries are answered sensitively and promptly. They often deal with worried patients, many of whom have head & neck cancer, and they take great care in easing their anxiety and ensuring they have as much information to take away as possible about their care. Many junior doctors work in the department on a six-month rotation, and the secretaries go out of their way to welcome them to the close-knit department, ensuring they settle in to life at NCUH, maximising their valuable experience. They also took charge when the staffing structure was re-organised, speaking to other teams in the hospital to find out how they worked and implementing a model they knew worked best for them.

Midwives WCH
Midwives CIC

Midwifery and health care team
The whole maternity team, who work across three maternity units (CIC, WCH and Penrith Birthing Centre) work well together cross-site, ensuring that their patients are put first and that choice for women is always at the forefront. Staff often stay beyond their 12-hour shift if the delivery of a baby is imminent, ensuring that women receive continuity of care in a special and significant time in their lives. Midwives also embrace students who work with them through great mentorship, with one midwife having developed a student package so that those learning the skills can make the most of their time at the Trust. In a time of change and uncertainty, the teams have adapted brilliantly, and have continued to put the welfare of their patients first.

ICU and Theatres WCH
ICU and Theatres CIC

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Theatres at WCH and CIC
In November 2017, the Trust’s ICU team at CIC temporarily expanded intensive care into the theatres recovery area to make way for additional patients. Extra support was required from ICU nurses and doctors, who worked overtime to ensure patients were cared for, and theatre staff also contributed to the temporary move. The whole process was co-ordinated brilliantly, with great teamwork from theatres sisters, matrons, managers and consultants. The team at WCH provided helpful assistance, swiftly managing any transfers that were required. Patients were effectively managed to a high standard and the temporary moves lasted only two days, cementing the Trust’s ICU team as one of the most successful in the region.

The winners will each receive a token prize, and will be celebrated as part of the Trust’s #NHS70 campaign, which marks 70 years since the NHS was created. The campaign looks to promote how the NHS has changed lives, and how it continues to improve outcomes for patients and their families.

Stephen Eames, chief executive, said: “Congratulations to all our teams, their achievements go a long way to ensuring our patients receive the best care possible. It’s comforting to know that, in the face of adversity, our staff continue to work effectively and efficiently, with patient needs and safety at heart of everything they do.

“We have committed to ensuring that our staff are recognised and rewarded for the work that they do, I believe it’s hugely important in contributing to a happy and healthy workforce. The #YouDidit scheme has been very successful, and I know that the panel had a difficult choice in whittling so many nominations down to just four. The Trust will continue to develop new ways of recognising our staff achievements, and I look forward to taking these reward schemes forward into the future.”

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