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Winners announced in two Our Health Heroes categories

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey and the Newcastle Regional Sleep Team from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been confirmed as winners in the 2018 Our Health Heroes awards. 


Kingston Hospital triumphed in the Staff Retention and Wellbeing Employer of the Year category for its outstanding commitment to staff welfare whilst Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals was recognised in the Integrated Team category for commitment to patients.


Organised by Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England, the annual national awards – now in their third year – celebrate the unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK, including those working in the NHS, who go above and beyond in their roles every day.



Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

In 2016, the hospital’s Board of Trustees recognised the staff as their greatest resource and set about making staff wellbeing and retention a key corporative objective.


A dedicated committee was created to deliver the Trust's health and wellbeing framework, which includes self-referral to physiotherapy and exercise classes as well as resilience and mindfulness training.


Financial guidance and family health advice are also readily available to staff as well as a programme of career progression and an appraisal system.


Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also established an environment of support for talented administrative staff with ambitions to progress within the organisation. 


As a result of a range of activities, including those listed above, in August the Trust was rated 'outstanding' by the CQC in the Quality, Caring and Well Led categories – an improvement of two ratings in just two years.


Kelvin Cheatle, Director of Workforce at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says: “It’s always great to get recognition for hard work but this award is special as it highlights the ground-breaking achievements of our staff with the support of the Health and Wellbeing and HR teams on our vital retention and the wellbeing agenda.


“Our workforce KPIs are among the best in London and this team played a fundamental role in the Trust’s Outstanding rating in our recent CQC inspection. I’m really delighted for the staff concerned who are totally deserving of this award.”



Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Newcastle Regional Sleep Team grabbed the judging panel’s attention because of their work with a high caseload of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), which can present as excessive snoring and interrupted breathing at night.


There has been a sharp increase in new cases from 900 in 2009 to 2,000 in 2017 and the team now has more than 8,000 long-term patients using the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mask (CPAP) and machine treatment for OSA.


With no additional resources or personnel available, the multi-professional sleep colleagues have been responsive, innovative and flexible to ensure that patients continue to be seen in a timely manner and receive high-quality care.


In addition to filming an informative video ‘OSA: Its Impact and How It Can Be Treated and Controlled’, they have also redesigned the way they investigate OSA. Now, patients can take home a sleep recorder on the same day as their clinic visit, which has reduced hospital visits and the time it takes to complete the initial case research.   


They have also created and published the findings of a four-week ‘Fast Track Sleep Service  for vocational drivers, to ensure prompt investigation and treatment to minimise the impact of OSA on work. 


Sophie West, one of the four consultants in the Newcastle Regional Sleep Team, says: “We are delighted with this award which recognises the hard work and commitment of the whole sleep team.


“We strive to provide excellent care for our patients and it is great to be able to celebrate this. Thank you for selecting us as Our Health Heroes.”