South Tyneside health team scoops national prize

Members of the award-winning Learning Disability service, left to right, head of the service Tracey Peters, safe care lead Peter Nash, community nurse Janis Conway, community support worker Emma Harris and Clinical Business Manager Mandy Bowler.
Members of the award-winning Learning Disability service, left to right, head of the service Tracey Peters, safe care lead Peter Nash, community nurse Janis Conway, community support worker Emma Harris and Clinical Business Manager Mandy Bowler.

A South Tyneside project which has increased uptake of bowel cancer screening among adults with a learning disability has received a national health award.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Learning Disability service won the Communicating Effectively with Patients and Families category of the Patient Experience Network awards.

Their programme has proved successful in increasing uptake by raising awareness of the importance of the screening and educating carers and families and staff on how to support the person with a learning disability to take the test.

Trust staff were also runners-up in four other categories and a finalist in another.

Chief Executive Steve Williamson said: “Staff in our community learning disability team are totally dedicated to supporting people with a learning disability to achieve positive outcomes in their lives and I am delighted that their innovative practice has been honoured in this way.I am very proud of all the staff who made it to the finals of these prestigious awards. The number and variety of categories for which they were selected, including communicating effectively, bringing patient experience closer to home, innovative use of technology, partnership working and support for caregivers, demonstrates the extremely high calibre and broad range of skills and expertise of our workforce.”

The other finalists were: South Tyneside Children’s Community Nursing Team; Diabetic Screening’s ‘one-stop’ service; A text messaging project for pregnant women at South Tyneside District Hospital; Staff in day services at St Benedict’s Hospice, Sunderland, Gateshead’s Special Needs Speech and Language Therapy team.