Gold: ResearchNet

ResearchNet are a group of people who have used our service who work as honorary members of staff, developing and implementing new ways of learning about patient experience.

They have completed over 1,000 patient experience questionnaires in services across the trust. Service users respond more openly to being asked questions by others who have used services, rather than staff, so this information has higher validity. The information they collect is used to raise standards. They present the results back to teams and have been involved in project groups to see through change.

They are using video in an innovative way, piloting the first ever use of the King's Fund experience based co-design approach in a mental health ward. They have published six papers on service evaluation and won Elsinore Publishers' prestigious Literati prize for a paper in Journal of Mental Health and Social Inclusion. They have spoken at numerous national conferences, advised researchers and performed surveys of Oxleas members about trust publications for the Communications department.

Their nominator also told us about a successful event they organised: "ResearchNet planned, ran and evaluated their own anti-stigma public event in Bromley with the artist Kim Noble. The evaluation showed a statistically significant change in over 100 people in their perception of mental health."

Silver: Greenwich Lower Limb Service

The Lower Limb Service provides specialist advice and care to people with lower limb problems, including injury, infection, cellulitis and lymphoedema. They run the Leg Excellence Greenwich Group (LEGG).

They were nominated by two patients, one of whom had struggled for three years with leg ulcers before coming to the service and his ulcers are 80% healed after only four months. He said: "This team contains the most professional, caring, thoughtful and exemplary nurses that you would wish to meet. Nothing is too much trouble, they listen sympathetically to all your needs and if at all possible, they will solve any problems regarding your personal needs and condition.

"The standard of their nursing care is excellent and the team show outstanding compassion to their patients"

Another patient said: "From my perspective they provide the necessary skills at a very high level and exemplary care for my condition."

Bronze: Bromley Care Home Project

This team developed partnerships in Bromley to enable care home staff to be better equipped to manage the distress of patients with dementia. The project had three aims:

  1. to improve the quality of life of older people with dementia in care homes
  2. to reduce challenging behaviour
  3. to reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication.

The initial pilot was with four care homes in the borough. Our staff ran six training workshops with the care home staff. They introduced a tool which helps identify and overcome the things that could cause distress for someone with dementia. The tool also helps to prevent unnecessary prescribing of anti-pyschotic medication.

The nominator said: "The project was well received by the homes and evaluation demonstrated that this project has made a difference in the life of people with dementia. It enabled people with dementia to remain in a familiar environment and their needs to be met compassionately with dignity and respect."

The project was visited by Paul Burstow MP, Minister of State for Health, who commented that it highlighted excellent care for people with dementia. It is now being extended to other care homes in Bromley.