AN IMPROVEMENT in looking after children at Rotherham Hospital has seen the department nominated for a national award.
Children’s services were labelled inadequate when Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was inspected by the Care Quality Commission in 2015.
Changes since have included hiring more nurses and expanding the child assessment unit to open seven days a week.
Now the service has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare award.
Ward manager Jane Lawrence said: “We are absolutely delighted. We really have worked incredibly hard as a team over the past 18 months to make innovative and positive changes. Everyone has really risen to the challenge.
“We’ve always provided compassionate care for our young patients but now we have reconfigured how the children’s assessment unit and children’s ward work, patients are reviewed in a more timely manner, they have a shorter length of stay and many don’t need to be admitted.”
The trust appointed children’s lead nurse Tracey Armstrong and mental health liaison nurse Katey Bickerstaffe in 2016.
And colleagues hold regular team meetings called “safe huddles” to discuss patient care.
Jane said: “Our regular team huddles mean we are able to keep track of our patients’ conditions even better.
“We can identify any safeguarding issues promptly and ensure they are discharged to the community children’s nursing team easily with all the medication they need.
“It also means we can monitor staffing levels better and support our colleagues. It’s really rewarding to see the results of all our hard work, for patients as well as our colleagues, and the HSJ Value Award is the icing on the cake.
“We’re really looking forward to showcasing what we have achieved at the awards ceremony.”
The new way of working has also resulted in all young people being seen by a nurse in 15 minutes or doctors within 60 minutes and a reduction in readmissions from 17 per cent to 7.6.
The hiring a new mental health liaison nurse was highlighted as good practice in the CQC’s report in early March.
The winners of the HSJ awards will be announced at a ceremony at Grosvenor House, London, on May 24.