National change week kicks off in Sunderland and South Tyneside

Published: 14th November 2017

A week-long series of events recognising the inspiring work that takes place across the whole of the NHS was launched today at City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts.

Fab Change Week celebrates good ideas, pledges and change innovations across the health service and is aimed at sharing the fantastic things taking place at NHS Trusts across the UK.

As part of the week, founder of the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff, Roy Lilley, is visiting trusts all over the country to see how they have overcome current challenges in the NHS, how they have put their ideas into action and what the results were.

The tour started this morning at Sunderland Royal Hospital, where staff were given the chance to present work around reporting excellence, research and innovation and patient-centred care.

The Day Surgery Admission Unit showcased work it has been doing to improve the experience for patients with learning disabilities. This includes development of an ‘easy read’ fact sheet, individualised care plans and specific arrival times so that patients and carers can stay together until surgery to help with stress and anxiety. The Fab Team was also given information on new innovations being trialled across the Trust including the Shoulder Reduction Bench in the Emergency Department, which has reduced the number of patients needing sedation during shoulder manipulation from 58% to 15%. They also saw a prototype of the Tookie vest recently nominated for a Bright Ideas in Health Award for Outstanding Collaboration with Industry. The aim of the vest is to prevent patients central venous catheter accidently falling out. Finally, they visited the Stroke Unit to see the ‘All About Me’ boards. The boards, developed by some of the Stroke team, have been designed to enable and encourage compassionate care of patients on the Acute Stroke Unit who may be struggling to communicate and to involve family and friends in their care. The boards detail what the patient likes to be called, who their friends and family are, favourite things and what they might need help with.

At South Tyneside District Hospital, Mr Lilley heard about the pioneering work of the falls team. South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust was one of only 19 Trusts in England selected to take part in NHS Improvement’s Falls Collaborative earlier in the year with a view to reducing the rate of in-patient falls and sharing examples of best practice and innovation which could be replicated across the NHS. They have developed a ‘falls risk assessment and individualised care plan’ which ensures that all patients aged 65 and over who are admitted to South Tyneside District Hospital are now assessed within 48 hours of admission for their risk of falling. It was introduced across the Trust this summer and was voted as the best idea for other Trusts to follow by fellow participants in the Falls Collaborative.

Commenting on his visit, Roy Lilley said South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts were the perfect places to launch Fab Change Week. He added: “They understand the importance of innovation and they have an enormous amount of best practice to share and I was very impressed by the fabulous stuff they were able to demonstrate.”

Melanie Johnson, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We were delighted that Roy and the Fab Team chose City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts to launch Fab Change Week. Having the opportunity to showcase the amazing work that takes place across both trusts is very welcome. Generally, this is just day-to-day stuff for our teams and not something they shout about enough. I’m really pleased at how all colleagues have embraced the idea of Fab Change Week and made such fantastic pledges to improve patient care and excellence across both organisations. There is a lot that we can learn from other trusts and it makes absolute sense for us all to share ideas and work together.”