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Gorleston’s James Paget hospital celebrate awards success for VIP scheme

PUBLISHED: 14:04 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:44 03 November 2017

Award winners Rebecca Crossley, Louise Bartley, Dr Dean Millican and Sarah Hay.
Picture: JPUH

Award winners Rebecca Crossley, Louise Bartley, Dr Dean Millican and Sarah Hay. Picture: JPUH

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Staff at the James Paget University Hospital are celebrating a prestigious success at the Nursing Times Awards, which were held in London.

The hospital had been short-listed in four categories in the awards, which sees nurses, trusts and health organisations from across the country recognised for innovations and achievement.

Up against tough competition from across the country, the Gorleston hospital won the Learning Disabilities Nursing category for it VIP Pathway ‘you are important to us’ scheme which provides a bespoke service for the most vulnerable patients admitted to the hospital.

The pathway is designed to provide a seamless and personalised approach to ensure vulnerable adults admitted for theatre procedures are looked after at every stage.

Staff at the hospital work closely with family carers and community colleagues to make the experience for those with learning disabilities, autism or dementia as caring and comfortable as possible.

Prior to the pathway being put in place some theatre cases were cancelled at the anaesthetic phase due to patient anxiety. Now family members and carers are invited into anaesthetic and recovery rooms as standard and there is the opportunity to visit in advance of the appointment to familiarise patients with what will happen.

Packs are also provided to help reassure the patient about what they may see during their visit, to make their stay easier and more relaxed.

Rebecca Crossley, learning disabilities and autism specialist Nurse, said; “From the moment an individual is identified as needing hospital services the team will set up and plan every part of the person’s admission and treatment through to discharge.

“We discuss with the family, carers and patients what their requirements are, with a pre-operative planning meeting to meet staff involved in the operation. Staff are supported by the Trust’s learning disability team and dementia team and the aim is to let family and carers know that there is extra support to prevent distressed or anxious moments.

“The feedback has consistently been that patients are more settled and family carers feel reassured as they are able to stay with their loved ones.”

Last year the VIP Pathway saw a saving of £56,000 through the reduction in theatre cancellations but, more importantly, the hospital says it provided an improvement in the care provided.

Julia Hunt, director of nursing, said: “I’m incredibly proud that the James University Hospital was shortlisted in four categories, and they are all winners in my view, as their hard work has been recognised at the highest level. To win in a category that had ten other nominees is outstanding and it’s a credit to all our teams who work with vulnerable adults. It shows the excellent work that nurses are leading to drive innovation to improve our services for patients.”

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