KGH team win prestigious national award for work during pandemic

The award recognises outstanding care for patients and their families

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 4:20 pm
The Digestive Diseases Unit team are presented with their award by Head of Clinical Operations Jo Sturgess (L) to DDU Ward Sister Angie Robinson.

A team at Kettering General Hospital has won a prestigious award for the way it has cared for vulnerable patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Digestive Diseases Unit (DDU) team won a Cavell Star Award from the Cavell Nurses' Trust, which recognises outstanding care for patients and their families.

The awards are given to nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who show exceptional care to one of three groups of people - patients, families and colleagues.

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The nomination was for the way they have worked to ensure patients with gastroenterology disorders - such as Inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal cancer, and chronic liver disease - have been looked after by the appropriate doctors and nurses with gastrointestinal expertise and discharged home promptly and safely during the pandemic.

DDU ward sister Angie Robinson said: “In March 2020 we had to move from our base on Deene C ward at the hospital to the former Ashton ward at the treatment centre as this was a green area where patients could be protected from Covid-19 infection as much as possible.

“During the pandemic we have worked with A&E and our medical wards to ensure that patients who need our care are seen by the right specialist doctors and nurses as soon as possible.

“This means they get the right treatment without delay and, because we have our own gastric treatment clinic, we have also often been able to discharge people home quickly with an appropriate clinic follow-up a couple of days later to ensure they are okay.”

The way the team worked meant they could discharge an average of 25 patients per week in the 20-bed ward during the pandemic, ensuring that beds remained free for acutely-ill patients who needed urgent hospital care.

They've now won the prestigious award, named after nurse Edith Louisa Cavell who helped soldiers who had been wounded in the First World War. She also helped more than 200 allied troops to escape into neutral Holland by smuggling patients through her hospital in Belgium, finding them guides and organising papers for them to cross the border. She was found guilty of treason by the Germans and executed by firing squad in October 1915

Surgical services matron, Arnold Aguilar, nominated the KGH team for the Cavell Award.

He said: “During the pandemic patients were nervous of hospital visits if their condition meant they were shielding and were immunocompromised.

“By working so well as a team DDU enabled them to receive outstanding care in a quick and timely way and enabled them to be able to go home as soon as possible.

“The Cavell Awards recognises passionate individuals and teams who shine bright and deliver exception high quality care for patients and who support families.

“The Digestive Diseases Unit team has done this and that’s why I nominated them for an award. I am delighted that – after Cavell carried out its usual rigorous screening process – they agreed.”

Gastroenterology registrar Dr Solange Serna said: “Doctors work very closely with the nurses on the unit and we have nurse-led discharge here as long as patients meet discharge criteria.

“The way we have worked has meant that our patients have received the very best possible timely care during a very difficult and worrying time for them.”

Kettering General Hospital’s director of nursing and quality, Leanne Hackshall, said: “I am delighted the Digestive Diseases Unit team has won this award and congratulate them all for the way in which they have supported the trust’s coronavirus response.

“This is a great example of how we have adapted to the difficult circumstances brought by the pandemic and delivered the best possible care for patients in a way that has enabled them to go home to their families as soon as possible.”