Plaudits for Sheffield stroke research team

The stroke research team

Two teams from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been named as finalists in the Nursing Times Awards, one of the most coveted accolades in the healthcare industry.

The stroke research team are one of ten teams across the country in the running for the Clinical Research Nursing category while the Trust’s Okay to Stay plan, which helps patients with long term health conditions avoid unnecessary hospital stays, is a finalist in the Nursing in the Community category.

The Nursing Times Awards recognise innovative and excellent care that nurses provide at all levels across the UK.

The stroke research team said they were “absolutely thrilled” to have been nominated for the Clinical Research Nursing award after significantly increasing the number of research trials patients being cared for at the Trust for a stroke can take part in.

Emma Richards, Senior Stroke Research Sister, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been recognised for this award. Between 2016 and 2017 Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were the fourth highest recruiter to stroke research nationally out of 188 centres. Stroke can affect anyone at any age and can have devastating effects not only on patients but on their family or carers. By championing research to a wide range of professionals, every patient who is being treated or recovering from a stroke within our Trust is now eligible to take part in research if they wish to do so.”

The team attended consultant ward rounds and clinical meetings, ran training sessions and shared an office with the clinical stroke team to keep those on the stroke unit, speech and language therapists, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other research nurses up to date with potential new trials and ongoing studies that their patients could take part in. As a result the team recruited 40% of the Yorkshire and Humber region’s stroke patients to trials being run at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Rebekah Matthews, an Integrated Pathway Manager at the Trust, came up with the idea of the ‘Okay to Stay’ plan in July last year.

“I pulled together a workshop including geriatricians, ward matrons, hospital and community therapists and nurses, GPs and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. We started to develop the idea of the Okay to Stay plan for these patients, and everyone was so enthusiastic.”

As well as including vital medical information, it paints a picture for any visiting health professional of how the patient manages at home - who supports them, and what medication they need if unwell. It also helps the patient to recognise an exacerbation of their condition.

“An initial pilot highlighted that the plan had a significant impact on supporting some of the most vulnerable patients with complex needs who are being cared for at home, so we’re delighted to be showcasing our work at national level.”

Professor Hilary Chapman, Chief Nurse for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the vital contribution our nursing teams make towards improving patient care, and their creativity, talent and commitment is a great example of the difference high quality, innovative nursing care can make.”

The Nursing Times Awards recognise innovative and excellent care that nurses provide at all levels across the UK.

The winners will be announced on Thursday November 2 at an awards ceremony at Grosvenor House, London.

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