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We are proud to announce that three of our teams have won awards at the Community Hospitals Association (CHA) 2023 Innovation and Best Practice awards. The CHA Innovations and Best Practice Awards Programme has been running since 2000 and during that time the CHA has given 158 awards. The awards demonstrate the breadth of services and facilities that are offered in our community hospitals.

Our Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) Education and Development team have won the award for the introduction of the HCSW education and development team. Our Electronic Prescribing and Management Administration (EPMA) team have won the award for the EPMA roll out and Careflow Medicines Management Integration and our Community Beds Optimisation team have won the award for their End PJ Paralysis Campaign.   

Health Care Support Worker Education and Development team

It was recognised that our Health Care Support Workers (HCSW) required to be uplifted from Band 2 to Band 3. It was important for us to ensure that staff were recognised for their skills sets in all our settings to ensure staff were also financially recognised. To do this, the HCSW Education and Development team had to ensure that all competencies were completed and signed off together with developing new skill sets such as wound care, continence care and phlebotomy. Our HCSW educators embraced the challenge and supported all HCSW staff to confidently achieve an uplift over a 6-month period.  

The team have built relationships with staff and supported them not only in learning but with pastoral care of the role that cannot be underestimated.  The team have also identified staff who experience dyslexia and dyscalculia and have worked to problem solve different ways of working and mitigation to enable staff to confidently adapt and continue in role.

The judging panel said: “This is a wonderful example of something that started as a NHSE project that has grown to a sustainable model of education and support for Health Care Support Workers. This has allowed some to develop into the education support role. This team focuses on an often undervalued and hidden part of the workforce so broadening opportunities for them in an inclusive, supportive and developmental way is to be celebrated. The development of the network which gives them a safe space and a voice that is now heard is inspirational.”

Electronic Prescribing and Management Administration (EPMA)

From May 2022 until March 2023, EPMA was rolled out to the 14 Adult Intermediate Care Units at SCFT. The EPMA system sits within the Electronic Patient Record system that was already in use at SCFT, but the implementation of EPMA required integration with the medicines management system in use by the dispensary. SCFT were the first trust to use the new interface created between Careflow Medicines Management (CMM) and SystmOne (S1), paving the way for a fully closed loop supply and administration system in the future.

It supported the Digital Pharmacist to be able to view all wards as often as required enabling her to prioritise support. This innovation means that prescribers can remotely support patient care, prescribing or amending medication from another site so wards are not left without prescribing cover. 

The judging panel said: “This is a really innovative approach to medicines prescribing including digital, clinicians, pharmacy and the companies providing the systems in use. There was a planned approach unit by unit which allowed a focus on their individual needs as well as ensuring learning displaying a Quality Improvement methodology approach. Targeted education and support as well as using experts as experts with the right person in the right role as part of the team ensured this national must do was delivered in a meaningful, supportive, flexible way where staff felt engaged and listened to. A lived example of collaboration and MDT working at its best.”

End PJ Paralysis Campaign

In a bid to tackle deconditioning, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust launched its first ever End PJ Paralysis campaign, in July 2022. The aim being to reduce immobility, dependency, and sense of isolation by increasing their movement, independence, and social interaction - improving their physical health, mental wellbeing and – ultimately – their dignity. 

Evidence shows deconditioning has a negative effect on their mental health and can, in turn, increase the length of stay, reduce quality of life, increase functional impairment and cause pre-mature death. In July 2022, assets, resources and training was provided to ICU’s across the Trust. Evaluation shows that the campaign has helped to create a 10% increase in the number of patients sat in their chair for lunch and a 29% increase in the number of patients dressed in their own clothes.   

The judging panel said: “This is a great project that used a nationally known initiative to really drive for change. This project encompassed some great ways of motivating staff and people being cared for to get back to normal ways of living daily lives. Get up get dressed and move around at its best. Evidence shows visible improvements and great improvements to people’s quality of life.”

We would like to say a huge congratulations to our Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) Education and Development team, our Electronic Prescribing and Management Administration (EPMA) team and our Community Beds Optimisation team!