May 10th 2017

Matrons scoop national health award

Two matrons have scooped a prestigious award for their hard work in reducing elderly admissions at a Black Country hospital trust.

Sue Wills and Dena Ross, from the community matron care homes team at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, won the Nursing Older People category at the Royal College of Nursing (RCNi) Awards.

The matrons’ project saw a reduction in elderly patient admissions to A&E by 18 per cent, and to hospital by 29 per cent.

Dena and Sue received their awards at the ceremony.

Initially they worked with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) to deliver the well-known First-Person-On-Scene (FPOS) course to 50 carers from 10 care homes in the area. However, following feedback, Sue and Dena decided the programme needed to be more tailored to meet the needs of staff and a bespoke course was devised, in collaboration with WMAS. It was then delivered to carers who work at a further 11 homes.

Sue said: “It’s an amazing feeling to win this award. To say we are pleased is an understatement. There were so many brilliant projects that were mentioned throughout the evening, I really didn’t think we would win.”

She added: “Both Dena and I have been in post since June 2011. We have built strong relationships with the care homes, providing support to staff and residents to deliver high quality care to try to reduce unplanned admissions.

“The Trust experienced a significant reduction in the amount of elderly people who were being brought into both Sandwell and City Hospitals as a result of the training,” Sue added.

“The outcome has been that care home residents, particularly those with dementia, can often be cared for safely ‘at home’ utilising our excellent community services to provide a more beneficial and positive patient experience.

“There are still 14 care homes in the area that have not yet received training and we are hopeful that we will be able to facilitate this soon. I understand that other Clinical Commissioning groups in the area are using the programme after seeing our success.”

Hall Green care home manager Stuart Holyhead explained how the project has helped.

He said: “The team’s professional support has been invaluable. They go the ‘extra mile’ to aid our residents to have the highest possible standard of healthcare in the place they now call home. The training  our staff received has empowered them to feel confident and well qualified in their caring roles.”

SWBH staff member Jayne Burkinshaw was also shortlisted in the Healthcare Assistant category at the awards for her work in running the Community Phlebotomist District Nursing Service Pilot.


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