NHS South Essex Shortlisted in HSJ Awards 2012

NHS South Essex has been shortlisted in the Quality and Productivity category in the Health Service Journal Awards 2012. This has been achieved through effective joint working with Basildon University Hospital, South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) and North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and local authority colleagues.

The awards recognise excellence in healthcare across a range of categories. NHS South Essex’ has been shortlisted for the implementation of a Dementia Intensive Support Team (DIST), which has successfully reduced the number of patients with dementia from being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

The DIST team consists of specially trained nurses employed by South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) and North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT). The team are based at the A&E department of Basildon University Hospital providing specialist dementia health care. They may refer patients to the memory service and offer support to carers.

Mark Tebbs, Associate Director for Mental Health and Vulnerable Adults at NHS South Essex, said:

“We are delighted that the Dementia Intensive Support Team, has been recognised by the HSJ. It is an excellent example of how the NHS is delivering a quality service and saving money through effective partnership working.”

“The team consists of specialist nurses, social workers, support workers and occupational therapists who work together so that people with dementia can avoid hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. They identify these patients early, give them a package of care in the community and support their carers so they can stay at home.

“In cases where patients with dementia need to stay in hospital, the team works with hospital staff, the patients and their carers to help them return home, with support, where they will feel safer and happier.”

We could not have delivered these improvements without all partners working together.”

Diane Sarkar, Director of Nursing said:

“It is fantastic that HSJ has recognised the successful joint partnership working between the hospital, SEPT and our commissioners. More importantly, the DIST scheme is reducing the number of patients with dementia from being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

“Coming into hospital can be a nerve-racking experience for most, let alone those with dementia, so ensuring they get the best care in the community and avoid hospital admission means better patient care. The DIST project has also been highlighted by the Royal College of Nursing as an example of best practice.”

Gary Blatch, Dementia Strategy Manager at South Essex Partnership Trust said

“DIST is a project that demonstrates a commitment from all local Health Trusts, Councils and the Third Sector to work together, share ideas and jointly staff new projects.

This project has rewarded that effort by preventing unnecessary admissions to Hospital for people with Dementia and enabling them to receive treatment in their own home.

The response from patients and their families has been very positive, the Royal College of Nursing and now the Health Service Journal have recognised the impact that DIST is having and, what’s more, is already proving to be much less expensive for the NHS.

We are proud of our SEPT staff involved in this project and proud to be working along our sister organisations in responding to the Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia.”

Great news for Essex health services. Also short-listed is the South Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust in the category Improved Partnerships between Health and Local Government.

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