A HOSPITAL ward in South Tyneside is the first in the region and one of only 17 in the country to be awarded a top accolade for the way it looks after the elderly.
South Tyneside District Hospital’s Ward 19 has received the Elder Friendly Quality Mark by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in its latest round of presentations.
The award, developed in partnership with organisations including Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing and British Geriatrics Society, was established to encourage the improvement and quality of essential care for older people .
Lorraine Lambert, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, said: “This is a wonderful achievement, and I am extremely proud of the team. It is particularly important to us because, to achieve it, the views of patients themselves were taken into consideration.
“Not only is it fantastic news for patients and their relatives and carers, who can be assured that they are receiving the best care, but also for our staff, who do such a wonderful job and are always willing to go the extra mile to provide that care.
“With increasing numbers of older people living longer, we are committed to delivering the very best support for them that enables them to have the best quality of life possible.
“The Quality Mark demonstrates that we are already doing that and we plan, in the next few years, on building on the good work being undertaken to further enhance and develop our facilities for this very important group of patients.
“These plans include the development of a centre of excellence for the care of older people at South Tyneside District Hospital.”
The Quality Mark initiative was set up in response to reports over recent years, including the Francis Inquiry Report into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which highlighted the need for improvements in older people’s care and variations in the quality of care among wards.
Patients over the age of 65 are asked for their feedback about care, including their experiences of comfort, food and drink, support from staff, getting help when needed, and privacy and dignity, and if they would be happy if a friend or family member was cared for on the ward. Information is also collected from carers and visitors, ward staff and other medical officials.