A passionate team who care for some of the most vulnerable patients across South Tees have been rewarded for successfully turning a pilot project into a vital service – in just 10 months.
Dedicated professionals from the Parkinson’s Advanced Symptoms Unit (PASU) – the first of its kind in the UK – picked up the ‘Managing Long Term Conditions’ gong at the Patient Safety Awards 2016.
Judges at the awards praised the “clear passion” of the team in supporting “a very vulnerable group” of patients, who are “often overlooked”.
And the award is not the only reason PASU, based at Redcar Primary Care Hospital, has to celebrate.
It has also been commissioned by South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to continue to provide multidisciplinary care for Parkinson’s sufferers, giving it a more permanent basis within South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s community services.
Lucy Tulloch, Neurosciences Service Manager, said: “The PASU service is the first of its kind nationally and it’s a great accolade for the staff to receive this award.
“The judges praised the “evident passion” of the team, demonstrating how they find their work so rewarding.
“This is well-deserved recognition for a service which gives its caring staff the opportunity to go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to meet the needs of patients.”
Lucy added the team is pleased the service, which began as a pilot project last September, has now been commissioned by the CCG – and has caught the attention of other NHS trusts across the region.
She said: “We hope to reach an agreement with other neighbouring CCGs so we can provide the service on a permanent basis.
“Regionally, other trusts are looking to replicate PASU or learn from our model, which involves partnerships with the Health Foundation, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).”
PASU provides patients with advanced Parkinson’s Disease – and their carers – with reassuring and quick access to assessments by a range of specialists.
It also offers home visits for patients with complications arising from the condition, whether physical, such as impaired movement, or mental, such as dementia and psychosis.
Dr Neil Archibald, project lead for PASU, said: “Since opening in September last year, we have seen improvements in quality of life for our patients, as well as a reduction in emergency admissions to the hospital and reduced length of stay for patients.”
Commenting on their experiences of PASU, one patient said: “We came away from the clinic feeling much more positive and relieved to know that help was close to hand and that we were not alone.
“As a patient it is so reassuring to know that such a well organised and much needed facility is available.”
The Patient Safety Awards, in collaboration with the Health Service Journal (HSJ) and The Nursing Times, recognise healthcare organisations that are “constantly innovating” and overcoming challenges to put patients’ needs first.
Winners were announced during a glittering awards ceremony at Manchester Central, on the first day of the Patient Safety Congress.
More than 800 people from across the NHS gathered for the awards, which were sponsored by Healthcare at Home, Macmillan Cancer Support, Patient Safety Collaboratives AHSN Network and Ridouts.
In a joint statement, Alistair McLellan, editor of Health Service Journal (HSJ) and Jenni Middleton, editor of Nursing Times said all winners “fought off strong competition to win” adding: “We salute their well-deserved success, which in most cases represents many years of dedication and hard work.”