Three Southern Health Trust teams celebrate a nod for national award

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

THREE Southern Trust teams have been shortlisted in the prestigious UK-wide HSJ Value Awards 2021.

The annual event celebrates projects and people that are driving operational and clinical improvements across health and social care.

The Trust’s Children’s Disability Social Work Service and Stone Treatment Team have both been shortlisted from hundreds of entries in the ‘Specialist Service Redesign Initiative’ while the Clinical Physiologist Team was shortlisted for ‘Cardiovascular Care Initiative of the Year.’

The Stone Treatment team were shortlisted for improving the care of patients with urinary tract stones. Congratulating them, Melanie McClements, Director of Acute Services for the Southern Trust explains:

“The team has streamlined and transformed how patients who come through our Emergency Departments are referred through to the specialist stone service.

"The new system is helping to ensure that patients are advised by an expert team as quickly as possible. Waiting times for patients to hear back from the department have reduced, follow up reviews are now more regular and patients are receiving better information on self-care, diet and fluid management.

"This new approach is helping the team to see more patients, information being shared between departments like ED and radiology is more consistent, and clinic costs have reduced.

"Most importantly, the experience for patients has greatly improved, by receiving better communication, a more accessible service and overall better outcomes from their engagement with the service.”

The Children’s Disability Social Work Service has been shortlisted for creating bespoke short break packages of care for high risk families during the Covid-19 pandemic. Paying tribute to the team, Paul Morgan, Executive Director of Social Work for the Southern Trust said:

“With schools, community outlets and other usual supports unavailable, the pandemic had a significant impact on families of children with complex disabilities who normally rely on these vital services. The team worked closely with the voluntary sector to develop a dynamic approach to support families in greatest need.

"Their person centred, short breaks service focussed on keeping children out of the care system and supporting their parents to cope. The heartfelt evaluations from those who benefited are a testament to the commitment and compassion of this team, for preventing potential family breakdowns and contributing to mental wellbeing during a time of risk, huge change and uncertainty.”

The Clinical Physiology team were shortlisted for the introduction of Implantable Loop Recorders, which are monitors used to keep check on people with increased risk of cardiac irregularities.

Melanie McClements adds: “Our physiologists were the first in Northern Ireland to introduce this new Implantable Loop technique. With advancing technology, Loop Recorders are now much smaller and so rather than continuing to bring patients through a lengthy theatre visit for implantation, this safe alternative within the Cath Lab setting offers patients a more relaxed experience whilst Consultant time can be used for more invasive procedures like pacemakers.

"I am delighted that the team have received this much deserved recognition for their commitment to improving the quality of their service and giving patients a much better experience.”

The winners will be announced in June. For more information and a list of finalists visit https://value.hsj.co.uk/.

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