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Projects by staff at Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust have earned three separate Innovations and Best Practice Awards 2014 from the Community Hospitals Association (CHA).

The three initiatives have resulted in a 28 per cent reduction in pressure ulcers, increased the availability of beds for GPs to refer patients to and led to greater patient involvement in their own care.

The three projects run by the trust were in response to areas identified by staff where they felt performance could be improved.

Paul Jennings, chief executive at GCS, said: “These awards are a testament to the work of everyone at the trust to provide the highest quality care for the people of Gloucestershire. I believe that everyone working at the trust should be given the opportunity to contribute their ideas and that doing so will allow us to continue to find creative solutions to the challenges we face.”

Sarah Warne, a manager in the trust’s clinical quality and development team, won an award for a project to improve the identification and early reporting of pressure ulcers.

Her work has provided clear guidance to staff if they are concerned that a pressure ulcer is the result of poor practice or neglect. It has also brought together colleagues from adult social care and acute hospitals to ensure the proper management of pressure ulcers for service users who move between services or trusts.

A project by Caroline Holmes, locality manager for Cheltenham and Cotswolds, won the Overall Innovations and Best Practice Award from the CHA for bringing together colleagues from across the trust’s seven community hospitals to improve admission and discharge procedures.

Caroline commented: “This project gave staff from our hospitals time out to plan what they could do differently on the wards to help patients get home more quickly and improve their stay whilst they were with us. The ideas and energy that came out of the teams was amazing and they have kept their projects going for over 12 months with fantastic results. 

“We were so proud of all our hospital teams when they held their own showcase event in July to share their good ideas with everyone. I’m proud to accept the award on behalf of them all.”

Michele Slater, senior sister at Dilke and Lydney Community Hospitals, ran a project with the multi-disciplinary team on the wards to improve patient involvement in planning their care while standardising the patient notes used by occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social care staff.

A follow-up survey found that the proportion of patients who say they feel involved in their care has risen from 40 per cent to 100 per cent, while the improvement in record-keeping has freed up more time for clinical staff to spend with patients.

Liz Jarvis, deputy director of nursing at GCS, said: “Winning these awards is a result of teamwork and an ambition across the trust to keep improving the quality of care we provide. Michele, Sarah and Caroline are worthy winners of their awards but I would like to thank everyone involved whose efforts have made each of these projects a success.”

The Innovations Awards were launched by the CHA to collate and share best practice across community hospitals in the UK.