The Ambulance Handover Improvement Programme has been shortlisted in the Patient Safety Award category and the Smart Sites Programme has been shortlisted in the Driving Efficiency through Technology Award category, recognising both team’s outstanding contributions to healthcare for staff and patients.
The pressures faced across the healthcare sector haven’t been far from the headlines over the past 12 months – yet the quality and overriding positivity of the award entries this year highlight the enduring devotion of workers within the health and social care industry, dedicated to improving patient outcome.
A staggering 1067 entries have been received for the HSJ Awards 2022, with 219 projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist (across 162 organisations). The high volume and exceptional quality of applications reflect the breadth of innovation and care within the UK’s healthcare networks.
Now in its 42nd year, the HSJ Awards continue to provide an opportunity to shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements that individuals and teams across the sector deliver daily.
Following the thorough judging process, we were shortlisted twice ahead of the official awards ceremony to be held later this year (November 17th). Despite the tough competition, our Ambulance Handover Improvement Programme and Smart Sites Programme stood out as ‘success stories’ worthy of a prized place on the panel’s shortlist. At this first stage of judging, the shortlist was based on ambition; outcome; value; involvement and working together and crucially, how the project might be “picked up” and replicated elsewhere for the benefit of both patients and professional colleagues.
About the Ambulance Handover Programme
In 2018 we developed our Every Minute Matters Hospital Handover Collaborative (EMM) aimed to reduce ambulance turnaround time at hospital, thereby releasing emergency ambulance resources to respond to patients in the community.
The Ambulance Handover Improvement programme builds on the learning from EMM to spread and scale up the handover improvement work. Engaging with system leaders such as hospital directors, the Association of Ambulance Service Chief Executives and commissioning bodies has been key to keeping the priority focus on handovers, despite many competing post-COVID NHS pressures.
Over the past 12 months, NWAS has continued to support hospital sites that have significantly improved their handover times while using system resources and partnership working to influence those sites that have not yet begun the journey.
Senior Improvement Manager Adele Markland says: “Learning from EMM has been collated into a nationally available module. This is designed to assist ambulance and hospital trusts in running their handover improvement programmes, thereby scaling up the EMM work from a local to a national platform.
“It has also been used as the basis for work with hospital trusts and system leaders to develop new procedures to release ambulance crews from hospital should they experience delays.
“The learning we had from EMM has the potential to improve patient safety not just for those participating in the collaborative, but for all ambulance patients in the country, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with partners to improve ambulance handovers.”
About Smart Sites Programme
Our Smart Sites Programme has seen a range of digital innovations and disruptive technologies introduced at several ambulance stations to make things easier for our staff.
The stations have significantly reduced the amount of paper they use, with staff now benefiting from interactive digital wallboards which provide up-to-date information. Security has been improved across stations with the use of an interactive key cabinet storing all the vehicle and station keys.
Ultra-energy-efficient smart lighting has been introduced, which follows the circadian rhythm, providing optimal working conditions throughout the day, as well as several other innovations which have been co-designed with staff, such as smart lockers and digital keys.
Matt Dugdale, Head of Clinical and Digital Innovation, says: “With support from NHS England, over the next 12 to 18 months, a number of these technologies will be rolling out across each station within our trust, including the wallboards, key cabinets and new key solutions and we’re looking forward to our ‘smart station’ future.”
Good luck to both teams!