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Hat-trick of Awards

24 November 2017

The James Paget has won three top awards - in the space of just three weeks!

After the Nursing Times Awards earlier this month, when the Paget team won the Learning Disabilities Nursing category for our VIP Pathway ‘you are important to us’ which provides a bespoke service for the most vulnerable patients admitted to the hospital, staff travelled to the InterContinental O2 hotel in London for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, held on Wednesday, 22 November.

Here our innovative campaign to raise awareness of a life-threatening condition – Kissing Goodbye to Sepsis – won the Patient Safety award, gathering national recognition at the ceremony, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry, which recognises and celebrates achievement in the NHS and highlights outstanding practice.

The hat-trick of top awards was completed on 22 November when the Paget picked up the Hartly Larkin Award at the Fab Awards 2017 for our work with dementia patients – the blue zimmer project. The Fab Awards recognise people and teams bringing great innovation and best practice to the NHS.

The Kissing Goodbye to Sepsis campaign aims to raise awareness of this life-threatening condition to help identify and treat it quickly – which can be crucial to patient care and recovery.

Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death if it not recognised early and treated promptly. Sepsis is one of the biggest killers. Every year there are 150,000 cases of Sepsis in the UK resulting in 44,000 deaths - more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

Since introducing the campaign, which encourages all health professional within the hospital to be alert for the symptoms, the James Paget University Hospital has seen a positive change in culture.

Clinical project manager and nurse Joan Pons-Laplana led drive, with others including our critical care outreach team, to help staff identify patients with Sepsis quickly, as administering anti-biotics within 60 minutes can save lives.

He said; “We’re so pleased this campaign has been recognised at a national level, as it is testament to the hard work of staff at the hospital.

“When we started the campaign we were average in national tables, but this was not good enough. We formed a group including doctors and A& E nurses to see what could be done to improve awareness. We wanted every front line professional – anybody who came into contact with a patient – to be able to identify symptoms and to ask ‘could this be Sepsis?’.

“When identifying Sepsis set observations are the key. We wanted to make it easy, so we created a new form on the back of the hospital’s observation chart with simple tick boxes to identify red flag symptoms and help recognise the condition – if any one of seven key factors are identified it is escalated. We also empowered nurses to be able to administer the anti-biotics if Sepsis was suspected, giving them the opportunity to intervene quickly.”

The campaign saw an increase in the percentage of patients being treated promptly in both A&E and on hospital wards.

Joan says; “There’s nothing better than knowing this work is saving lives and we’re now sharing this good practice with other trusts. By treating quickly we’re also reducing the length of patient stays in the hospital which has benefits for everyone.”

Julia Hunt, Director of Nursing, who was also at the awards last night said; “I’m delighted not only that we have won three awards in three ceremonies, but that so many projects from the hospital were shortlisted for each of these awards in the first place. All three events are nationally recognised and this puts us at the forefront of innovation – showcasing the excellent work that our teams are doing to improve our services for patients.”