Recognition Awards 2013: Kent Prisons COPD Team

Winner: Kent Prisons COPD Team

This work is an innovative partnership between our adult community and forensic and prison services, Her Majesty's Prison Services and Canterbury and Christchurch University to provide pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) to patients in prison. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a broad programme that helps improve the wellbeing of people who have chronic breathing problems. It is individually tailored and designed to meet people's needs. It helps improve people's condition, improve their capacity for exercise, de-sensitise people to breathlessness, develop self-management strategies, and promote lifelong lifestyle changes.

One nominator told us that: "the incidence of elderly prisoners who smoked was high and the diagnostic rate of COPD was low... this was a collaborative partnership between the Oxleas healthcare team, a specialist physiotherapist in COPD, and four prison service physical education instructors who worked together to provide what we believe was the first PR service within a prison setting." The project was the idea of one of our nurses in the prison Nina Turner who worked with Helen Jefford, a physiotherapist from our services in Greenwich and colleagues.

In recent years ensuring that prisoners have access to equivalent opportunities for healthcare as those in the general community has become a national priority. This service has allowed access to pulmonary rehabilitation previously unavailable to offender groups, and has also led to a significant reduction in the need for prescribed medication and emergency out of prison hospital attendance. 

At evaluation 100% of patients had positive feedback on PR, with comments including: "useful, fun, friendly, positively life changing and informative." 100% of patients agreed they can cope better now; 100% of patients agreed they are now able to recognise signs of chest infection; and 100% of patients plan to continue exercising on a regular basis.

Recognition Awards 2013: Runner up: Elaine Hughes, Bexley Memory Services and Linda Wilson, Bexley Virtual Ward

Runner up: Elaine Hughes, Bexley Memory Services and Linda Wilson, Bexley Virtual Ward

Elaine and Linda run an integrated partnership between our Adult Community and Older People's Mental Health Services for people with advanced dementia who live at home and their carers.

Their nominator wrote that they have: "energy, passion and a determination to always ensure their patients receive best quality care...they have been able to help their patients with advanced dementia remain in their homes, avoid hospital admissions, reduce carer stress and improve patients' quality of life. They provide the best care for the patient while reducing the costs of social and acute hospital care."

 "They are also great advocates for the patients and their carers when liaising with GPs, district nurses, palliative care services, social services, occupational therapists and participating in integrated care meetings. They contribute to a better understanding among health and social care professionals of the care needs of this vulnerable population."

The daughter of a patient with advanced dementia said: "If it hadn't been for Linda things would have been much worse. It is so important when you are dealing with this illness to have someone who can actually help for the last year of life, Linda was a real asset to us."

Commended: Mark Bradley, Adult Learning Disability (ALD) Services

Mark is a Health Facilitation Coordinator working across our Bexley and Greenwich ALD services. He is described as a "highly valued member of the ALD directorate...equipped with a wealth of knowledge within the learning disability (LD) health research and practice sphere." He was nominated for the work he has done over the years to develop partnerships with primary care trusts and now clinical commissioning groups to enhance local services for people with a learning disability.

The nominator wrote that: "Mark has recently developed a project for NHS London, which includes a suite of resources for primary care services - supporting them to complete more comprehensive health assessments, health action plans and to refer to specialist LD services."

Other projects Mark has been involved in include offering supported employment for people with LD; a partnership with the local acute trust to improve the experience of people with LD who visit their hospitals; developing and delivering LD awareness training for police and prison staff; creating a National Health Facilitation Network: enhancing support for young people with LD in transition from children to adult services and supporting the service user experience group."

Commended: Curtis Michael, Occupational Therapy Bracton Centre

Curtis is a support time and recovery (STaR) worker. He has developed a number of successful social inclusion projects over the years including a project to wash staff's cars and the Sycamore Social Enterprise, which sells sandwiches, soups and salads made by service users to Oxleas staff.

He played a key role in the Bracton Centre smoking cessation strategy. The Centre has recently gone completely smoke free with patients, staff and visitors unable to light up anywhere on the site. Curtis developed the fresh air project which is thought to be the first service user led, smoking cessation evening group in a medium secure setting.

One nominator write: "Curtis is highly respected by the service users and staff. He is committed, reliable and responsible - dedicated to supporting service users to develop life skills, improve their physical health and integrate into the local community."

Another nominator: "Curtis is an exceptional and amazing member of staff; a real credit to our service. He has come up with fantastic projects that not only benefit our service users, but progress the service as a whole...on a day to day basis he shows dedication to improving the lives of service users and continually comes up with activities for service users that promote social inclusion and recovery." 

Commended: Theresa Smith, Bexley Learning Disability Team

Theresa is a Senior Community Nurse and was nominated by a carer and a member of staff from a care home.

The carer said: "Theresa always listens carefully and offers good advice and is helpful. Advice is easy to understand. Can always get in touch with her and she is very supportive." She has helped by "being available, helping with my daughter's medication, explaining carefully helping with blood tests...friendly, approachable and kind - supporting me as a carer."

The nominator from the care home wrote: "Theresa is a very caring professional, who responded and acted upon the needs and expectations of both our resident and staff, ensuring our resident had fair access to the services they required. She is always approachable and very friendly. Theresa's knowledge helped staff feel at ease about the health issues our resident had and the major operation they had to face."