‘Hospital to Home’ nurses shortlisted for prestigious award

Release Date: 22/08/2017

‘Hospital to Home’ nurses shortlisted for prestigious award

A nursing super team who can travel in excess of 100 miles per day in order to get out to their patients have been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The ‘Hospital to Home’ Surveillance Nurse Team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital (RJAH) have been shortlisted in the Managing Long-term Conditions category of the Nursing Times Awards.

They work with patients with spinal cord injury at the hospital’s Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries.

The team, who comprise Alison Lamb, Consultant Nurse, and Specialist Surveillance Nurses Sarah Woodman and Julie Craig; say they are “ecstatic” to be in the running for the award.

The ‘Hospital to Home’ initiative sees the Specialist Surveillance Nurses visiting spinal patients from the comfort of their own homes.

Alison, who leads the team, said: “There are a number of benefits for both the patients and the organisation. For patients it’s being seen from the comfort of their own homes and having us as their advocates.

“In terms of the pros for the hospital, this service is relieving our outpatients department, as well as ambulance costs, freeing up surgical beds and keeping our waiting lists down.”

The service is also having a positive impact for community care, according to Alison.

She said: “Patients with spinal injuries have different and complex needs, their physiology is different.

“For example, GPs may only have two spinal injury patients perhaps during their career. Therefore what we do is important because we understand their needs and can help educate within the community.

“Eventually as part of our role we will be training carers and care and health professionals working in the community.”

The service, which has been directly commissioned by NHS England, has been running from the hospital just coming up to a year.

At present the nurses are seeing about 25 patients per month, as well as speaking to about 40 patients over the phone, with the team having a catchment area of about a 100 mile radius, covering Coventry, Leamington, Hereford, Cheshire, and Mid and North Wales.

Sarah said: “Our slogan is bridging the gap between the hospital and home, and that’s exactly what this service is about. It’s about ensuring our patients are comfortable and at ease, and that we’re there for them.  Going out to their home also means we’re looking at them in a holistic way.”

Julie added: “Since we started this, we’ve had some really brilliant feedback from our patients, and because of the nature of spinal injuries, it means these patients are our patients for life.

“They can feel very at home here at the hospital, so it’s a real wrench when they do go home, which is why this service is beneficial for them.”

Bev Tabernacle, Director of Nursing at RJAH, said: “I’d like to congratulate the ‘Hospital to Home’ Surveillance Nurse Team for not only being shortlisted but also for a successful year in delivering this new scheme.

“The feedback they have received so far has been wonderful and it’s making a very positive difference to the lives of our spinal injuries patients.

“We can never underestimate the challenges in relation to providing services for our patients in the community and the complexities associated with this.

 “The team have really rose to these challenges and are providing an innovative and patient focused service for our patients – they should be really proud.”

In September the trio will visit the Nursing Times offices in London to give a presentation on the ‘Hospital to Home’ scheme, ahead of the winners of the 2017 Nursing Times Awards being announced at a prestigious ceremony on 2 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

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