Stroke unit staff in line for national award

Acute stroke unit Matron Su Lindsay, left, with sister Debbie Hindmarsh and continuous improvement facilitator Fiona Carney with one of the 'All about me' boards.
Acute stroke unit Matron Su Lindsay, left, with sister Debbie Hindmarsh and continuous improvement facilitator Fiona Carney with one of the 'All about me' boards.

An acute stroke unit is celebrating being chosen as a finalist for a prestigious national award.

The unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital - which treats patients from both Sunderland and South Tyneside - has been nominated in the Kate Granger Awards for Compassionate Care.

The awards are dedicated to Dr Kate Granger who passed away in July 2016. While undergoing treatment for cancer, Dr Granger started writing about seeing the NHS ‘through the eyes of a patient’ and launched the #hellomynameis campaign.

She worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS and encourage all health and care staff, whatever their role, wherever they work, to recognise the individual and their care needs.

The unit is shortlisted for the Team Award for its ‘All about me’ boards, which it has introduced to improve communication between patients, their families, carers, and health professionals.

Around a third of stroke survivors experience difficulties with communication which can be challenging and upsetting for everyone involved. The nursing team encourage families, carers and friends to use the large boards to display photographs, draw pictures, write messages and capture personal information which can help staff provide more personalised care.

Melanie Johnson, executive director of nursing and patient 3experience, said: “This award nomination is fully deserved. The ‘All about me’ board is a simple, low cost but extremely effective communication tool which has a very positive impact on the experience of patients and their families.

“The board supports staff in understanding the patient’s identity as an individual first and as a patient second by giving them invaluable information about the person, and what is important to them, which they may not otherwise have known.”

The winners of the Kate Granger Awards for Compassionate Care will be announced next month.