Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
Ahead of winter 2022/23, amid fears the NHS would face the worst period in history due to the unprecedented demand for beds, our Communications Team was tasked with raising the profile of the virtual ward service at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, run by the Surgical Medical Acute Recovery Team (SMART).
We had a solid virtual ward foundation thanks to the hard work of the clinical team, who implemented SMART, which is made up of nurses, consultants and therapists.
Through conversations with colleagues, analysis of our internal and external communication channels, and patient feedback, it was observed that although Medway’s virtual ward was successful, there was some apprehension from staff to refer patients. Equally, some patients had expressed concerns about receiving care at home away from the hospital building.
We aimed to work proactively with the local and national media, to share the success of the service and encourage patients to make even more use of it during the crucial winter months. This would help to put Medway on the map, showing how we have led from the front with this innovative form of patient care.
Alongside positive patient stories, we analysed data to share top line figures with the aim of changing negative perceptions. This included showing that the work saved the Trust and the taxpayer a significant amount of money. A typical stay on a hospital ward costs £657 a day, while the virtual ward costs £187, meaning a saving of more than £100,000 was made in six months alone.
We facilitated a feature article with a regional journalist that was published widely, notably through Kent Online; this shared the benefits of the virtual ward service and contained an interview with the Lead Nurse, as well as a positive patient story.
To maximise this opportunity, we worked with a major press agency to tailor the story for a national audience; this led to coverage across daily newspapers and online, including the Daily Express, Daily Star, and Express Online.
The stories helped to generate hundreds of comments online about virtual wards, bringing the topic to the forefront of the national news agenda.
Further, to help empower patients and inform staff, we launched a site-wide advertisement campaign encouraging patients to proactively ask their nurse for information about virtual wards and how they could benefit.
As a result, the reputation of the Trust and its virtual ward offering improved, while our patient success stories were identified by NHS England and are being used as case studies by the national communications team.
The wide range of media coverage led to increased recognition and positive feedback, while staff behaviour towards patient referrals improved, meaning that the virtual service was regularly maximised and relied upon throughout the winter, helping to free up beds in the hospital for those with life-threatening conditions.
Ultimately, the work of clinicians coupled with this effective communications campaign meant that we proudly played a major role in the NHS treating 100,000 patients in a year through virtual wards.
Please click on the documents below to view the supporting documents.
View Document 1