NNUH team wins national award

A team that provides critical care outreach across the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has won a prestigious national patient safety award.

The NNUH Recognise and Respond Team (RRT) has won The Deteriorating Patients and Rapid Response Initiative of the Year award at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards 2022 for their expanded and enhanced Critical Care Outreach service which moved from 12 hours a day to a 24/7service last year.

The announcement was made at the HSJ’s national awards ceremony, which recognises and rewards teams who strive to deliver improved patient care.

The RRT works across inpatient wards responding to acutely deteriorating patients, attending resuscitation calls in the hospital as well as delivering education, training and quality improvement projects.

Their award entry on “Optimising Care, Supporting Excellence” highlighted how they have supported an improvement in patient care and safety by reaching our fast-deteriorating patients 24/7 and ensuring that their colleagues on the wards are well-supported and well-trained. They lead in the education and training of Trust staff in the assessment and management of acutely unwell patients, providing basic, intermediate and advanced resuscitation courses and bespoke acute deteriorating patient courses for medical students, doctors, nurses, midwives and HCAs.

There are four areas of the Recognise and Respond Team:

  • Response
  • Quality Assurance & Education
  • Resuscitation
  • Critical Care Anaesthetic Practitioner

Since the service launched in June 2021, referrals to the RRT have increased by 172% with three-quarters of calls responded to within 15 minutes. Deteriorating patient education delivery has also gone up by 50%.

NNUH CEO Sam Higginson said: “Congratulations on this well-deserved win. This is a real testament to the brilliant work that they have been doing over the last couple of years.”

NNUH Recognise and Respond Team Matron, Katie Heathcote said: “We are hugely proud of the team and what they have achieved. All the nominees put in tremendous patient safety work and all richly deserved the recognition. We believed we were doing the right thing and so it is always nice to get the recognition for how hard the team have worked.”

She added: “The launch of the expanded service has gone above expectations and the feedback we have received from the wards has been fantastic. When you are really poorly in hospital it is a scary prospect and we hope we have made a big difference to the patient experience. We have had some lovely patient feedback. There has been a lot of change over the last year and the team have been incredible. We have embedded our team and our way of working and the next step will be to do more quality improvement projects focusing on patient deterioration and the escalation of deteriorating patients.”

“The main thing is that staff are able pick up patient deterioration earlier and use the tools we have given them through education to prevent further deterioration and reduce admissions to critical care.”

Notes to editors:

Award Finalists:

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals: Mechanical Life Support — HIGHLY COMMENDED

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals FT: Improving the Identification and Care of the Deteriorating Patient – A Quality Improvement Collaborative During the Pandemic

Kettering General Hospital FT: Launching a Call for Concern Service

Northampton General Hospital Trust: The Deteriorating Patient Task List

Southern Health and Social Care Trust: Rapid Access Heart Failure Clinic

Stockport FT and Pennine Care FT: Person-Centred Community Delirium Pathway

The Royal Wolverhampton Trust: Model of an Acute Kidney Injury Service


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