Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) has been praised for its innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic by being shortlisted for a prestigious health award.
The Trust has been selected as one of the finalists for Community Provider of the Year in the HSJ (Health Service Journal) Awards 2020 despite tough competition from over 1,000 entries.
The Trust’s award entry focused on recognising its community services’ response to the pandemic and in particular how community staff adapted how they delivered care to patients and developed new ways of working. Examples highlighted included:
- Clinical observation training for the care sector: When the COVID-19 pandemic was escalating, to reduce risk the majority of care homes reduced health professionals’ access to consult with patients face to face within care homes. This meant a new approach was needed to ensure care homes and carers had increased skills to support them in making a referral for further review of a poorly resident. A team of community nurses provided virtual training to all carers in participating care homes within North Lincolnshire. They were trained to take a full set of clinical observations which included blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing rate and oxygen levels, and then refer the poorly residents with as much clinical information for specialist review. This meant that carers could be given the right advice and support at the time and residents could get the help they needed.
- End-of-life training for the care sector: It was recognised that carers would need more support to care for dying residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual training package was developed by the Trust’s community End of Life lead nurse and she delivered virtual training to all carers in participating care homes within North Lincolnshire.
- Both of these above projects were delivered in partnership with Project ECHO which provides free training to care staff using videoconferencing.
- Community Response Team GP: A GP role has been created to provide clinical decision-making capacity to support community teams that are working to manage patients’ urgent care at home. The role is being evaluated for its benefits for patient care and more efficient working of the local care system. Community practitioners often need clinical advice to be confident that managing a patient at home is a safe and appropriate option. Seeking GP advice, especially out of hours, can be time consuming; therefore, having a GP available is helping to manage patient care in a different way, for example, avoiding hospital admission or unnecessary attendance at A&E.
Ant Rosevear, Divisional General Manager for Community and Therapy Services, said: “I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for this award. It recognises all of our community staff, nurses, doctors, allied health professionals and support staff, and the manner in which they have responded to the challenges of 2020 to ensure patients continue to receive the care they need. They should all be very proud. To be recognised for their work during the pandemic is a remarkable achievement and I want to thank all those involved.”
Team members from the Trust’s community services will be presenting to the judging panel in January. Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony which will take place virtually in March.