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Stroke patients' initiative from NGH shortlisted for top national award

MR1346 Community Stroke Team Pilot (002) recent pic

Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team

A team from Northampton General Hospital are in the finals of a top innovation award for the way they have involved patients in shaping future care.

The Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team has been shortlisted for the Innovate Awards 2022 for their “Putting the patient at the centre of all we do - living a meaningful and fulfilling life after stroke" initiative.

The initiative involved designing and improving a care pathway for stroke patients using direct input from a stroke patients forum and setting up volunteering options for patients.

This enabled staff and stroke patients to work together to improve care by highlighting key concerns and ensuring that resources were concentrated in the areas of most need.

Leanna Luxton leads the Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team which consists of occupational, speech and language, and physiotherapists, rehabilitation assistants and practitioners, and specialist nurses.

She said: “We are one of three pilot sites nationally that have worked with NHS England/Improvement to look at what are the best and most effective things to do to support the rehabilitation of stroke patients after their stroke.

“We started by interviewing 100 stroke patients who had been through our pathway to ask them what issues they had faced.

“We also recruited 45 stroke patients to become stroke volunteers and sit on a monthly stroke forum so that we were able to listen to their voice and ensure that we targeted the right things to be improved.

“As a result we found some of the key concerns patients had were waiting times for care at home after leaving hospital, having appropriate psychological support, having help with returning to work, and frustration with the large number of repeat assessments they received.”

As a result of the work the team were able to secure national funding to support setting up:

  • A care reablement service that provides therapeutic reablement care at home within 24 hours of discharge
  • A vocational rehabilitation service to assist patients to return to work
  • A patient and family support service that includes patient volunteers, a patient forum, peer support workers, and the development of the online community network, ‘My Stroke Hub’, that helps stroke patients to support each other and also provides digital information for patients and their families
  • A ‘Psychological Wellbeing Pathway’ that provided training to staff in the entire stroke pathway to help them to deliver wellbeing coaching to patients, in hospital and at home.

The Innovate Awards are organised by the NHS Confederation, the body which represents and supports healthcare, and the AHSN Networks (Academic Health Science Networks), the body which operates as the key innovation arm of the NHS.

An awards spokesperson said: “Your submission has been selected as a finalist in the Excellence in Patient and Public Involvement in Transformation and Innovation Award.

“The entries were of a very high standard with 194 entries competing across ten categories.

“The winner and highly commended in your award category will be announced at an award ceremony on 29 September 2022 along with an ‘Innovation Champion of the Year’ selected from all winning entries.”

The Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team is up against 10 other hospitals and health Trusts from across the country in the finals. 

Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Nursing, Debra Shanahan, said: “I am not surprised our team has been shortlisted for the final of this national award.

“They are a regionally and nationally acclaimed service with an excellent delivery record and have great patient feedback.

“The pathway they have developed is now see as an example of true system working involving partnership working with social care, charity, voluntary sector, primary care and the acute trust.”

Posted on Friday 23rd September 2022
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