A team from East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has won a national award at this year’s prestigious British Journal of Nursing Awards.
The ‘Hospital at Home’ team were announced winners of the ‘IV Therapy Nurse of the Year Award’ on 9 March at Shakespeare’s Underglobe in London.
The team provide high quality, complex care in the comfort of people’s own homes. They help to get people out of hospital quicker and avoid further admissions to hospital.
Patients under the care of the team are still treated as in-patients in most services and therefore receive the same level of care as they would in hospital. Nurses deliver daily treatment to patients, in some cases visiting up to twice a day.
As many are probably aware, staying in hospital for long periods of time means being at higher risk for infections, falls, delirium, and decline.
Team manager, Gemma Oliver, said: “The team have been set up for six years and have worked tirelessly to deliver individual care pathways for each of our patients, allowing them to get better whilst being comfortable in their own homes, and even return to work or attend family weddings!
“For many patients, the prospect of being admitted to a hospital can be upsetting. It means separating from the people, pets, and familiar surroundings that create a feeling of safety. It also means disrupting the routines—a favourite meal or weekly card game—that provide joy.”
The team at East Kent were also the first in the country to use ‘nurse- filled’ 24-hour continuous antibiotic pumps.
Using these pumps to provide IV antibiotics has transformed the way treatment can be provided to a patient in their home. It has enabled visits from the team to be cut down from three or four per day to just one, meaning more patients can benefit from the ‘Hospital at Home’ service.
Gemma added: “We have received thousands of opinion forms back from our patients, with 98% giving the service 5 out of 5, 100% saying they felt their care was delivered safely, 99% saying they prefer that their care was delivered at home and 100% recommending the service to friends and family.”