Hampshire Hospitals has received four nominations for this year’s edition of the Nursing Times Awards, which celebrate exceptional achievement and excellence in nursing and patient care.

team-picture-5-masks.JPGBeing shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award is a real achievement, with every entry seen by a panel of over 70 judges. Across 23 categories, HHFT have been shortlisted for four awards.

The Children's Home Acute Team (CHAT) is leading the nominations within the trust, having been shortlisted in three categories – Nursing in the Community, HRH Integrated Approaches to Care, and Children’s Services.

The CHAT team is a small team of paediatric nurses based on Charlie’s Day Unit in our hospital in Basingstoke, who have developed an integrated way of working to improve patient outcomes, by providing care closer to home for some of our younger patients, promoting early discharges and working to prevent hospital re-attendance. They see children from the community and take referrals from 11 GPs, Charlie’s day unit, and the emergency department, and also support the children’s ward on G2 to facilitate discharges.

Now in its fifth year, the service has gone from strength to strength, with monthly hospital avoidance rates sitting between 89 – 100% each month, ensuring young people receive the best possible care in the place that is right for them. In November 2019, of the 111 referrals CHAT received, only nine children needed to be brought into hospital and required an intervention.

Not only does the service help to reduce pressures in hospital, it helps to reduce the anxiety of children and their parents, and empower carers to manage and care for their child with an acute illness. The CHAT service demonstrates seamless partner working with GPs in the community, to make a positive difference to patient experience and care. This is something that has been noticed by others trusts that have expressed an interest in the work the CHAT team do.

Lynsey Carrazedo, community children's nurse sister and team lead for the CHAT team, said: “We are very excited about the nominations. It’s been a huge team effort to get to this point and it’s fantastic that it’s now being recognised at the Nursing Times Awards. Even being shortlisted is a great achievement and I am so proud of the team and everything we do to support our patients and their families.”

When it comes to pressures of COVID-19, they CHAT team created a COVID pathway to work alongside the GPs that send referrals, in order to minimise the impact on their service. Any child with suspected COVID-19 would be visited at home, wearing the according PPE, to keep the child and family at home and prevent them from coming into hospital – a pathway the team will continue to implement throughout winter.

Our maternity department’s “First Hour of Care” for babies has also been recognised by the Nursing Times Awards, having received a nomination for the Patient Safety Improvement category. The “First Hour of Care” in maternity evolved from looking at the avoiding term admissions into neonatal units (ATAIN) work as part of a Quality Improvement Fellowship with Health Education England.

Cindy Shawley - poster2.jpgDr Cindy Shawley, quality improvement lead for maternity (HHFT) and postnatal lead for SHIP (Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Portsmouth) Local Maternity System, said: “This important work is all about preventing babies being admitted to the neonatal unit wherever possible. I am very proud of this work and that it is being shared and used nationally to improve care and safety for babies, and that we have been shortlisted for the finals of the Nursing Times Award in patient safety.”

This pathway is vital in promoting the normal adaption to life for the baby and is about optimising the care for our mums and babies. Observational studies were carried out and showed that there are four key elements to the pathway that are at the forefront of care and are interdependent on each other and pivotal to reducing harm and promoting safety for mum and baby. The proforma “First Hour of Care” has also been published in a national learning report by the HSIB to prevent neonatal collapse alongside skin to skin.

The awards are celebrating their 30th anniversary and the winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday 18 November 2020. We are keeping everything crossed for our brilliant teams!