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Alder Hey wins at Patient Experience Awards

Up against over 240 hospitals, Alder Hey was a big winner at the Patient Experience Network National Awards. We were announced as a winner in the ‘Support for Caregivers, Staff and Family’ category and a runner up in the ’Access to Information’ category, before being announced as the ‘Overall Winner’ for this year’s awards.

Alder Hey has a long tradition of engaging with children and young people in their care and is the first ‘Investing in Children’ hospital in the UK. Everyone within the hospital plays an important role in making sure that patients have the best experience possible throughout their treatment. Alder Hey has set in place a number of activities which patients can enjoy including an award winning arts programme (Arts for Health) which involves music therapy, dance programmes, storytelling and animation projects. Other activities taking place across the hospital include regular football workshops and ward spa sessions for mums. The hospital also has a team of Play Specialists trained to use ‘play’ to distract patients during procedures.

Gill Core, Director of Nursing, said: “This is a fantastic achievement which really highlights our dedication to providing the best possible experience for our patients and their families. We are very proud to be an Investing in Children accredited hospital, the first in the UK, which puts patients and their families at the heart of everything we do. This extends beyond medicine and surgery into their physical and emotional wellbeing.

“Alder Hey celebrates its 100th birthday in 2014 and as we look forward to a bright future in our new hospital, we are committed to our vision to provide the best experience for every child and their family, measured against the best standards of customer care in the world.”

Shortlisted for the awards was Alder Hey’s ‘Big Brush’ campaign which informs children (and parents) about dental decay and correct brushing techniques in a fun, informative way. An exciting animation project ‘Room With a View on D2’ was also shortlisted. Delivered by Twin Vision, the project is part of the hospital’s arts programme which is funded by The Alder Hey Charity. It allows patients to participate in a wide range of techniques such as stop frame animation, filming, model making and editing.

The hospital received the runner up in the ‘Access to Information Category’ for producing an unusual and creative piece of patient literature promoting infection control. ‘Don’t be a Bug Rug’ is a child-friendly booklet which raises awareness of a range of issues around infection control. Children’s writer Hilary Keating worked with patients across the trust to generate stories, poems and illustrations’ that explored a range of bugs and germs and how best to prevent them.

Winning workshops

The big winner on the night was for the hospital’s disability development programme; the result of an invaluable partnership with Everton in the Community (the charitable arm of Everton Football Club). Workshops with Everton in the Community football coaches have taken place since 2008, seeking to bring fun health messages and exercise activities to disabled children and young people, as well as bringing knowledge and information to their families and carers. The programme allows all children to take part regardless of age, ability or physical condition. More recently Woodlands Beauty Spa have added another dimension to the partnership by offering therapies such as massages, face painting and nail art.

Award-winning workshopsKaren Ross, Head of Patient Experience, said: “Here at Alder Hey, we recognise we have a responsibility of not just caring for patients but treating their families too. We are delighted to have such a positive and pro-active partnership with Everton Football Club and Woodlands Beauty Spa. The programme improves patient experience by removing anxieties and breaking up the tedium of long-term hospital care. Importantly, it also provides parents, carers and families an opportunity to have holistic therapy on site. These therapies help to aid relaxation and reduce stress during what is obviously an extremely difficult time in their life.”

Steve Johnson, Disability Manager at Everton in the Community, said: “ Everyone from Everton in the Community, Woodlands Spa and Alder Hey is very proud and honoured to receive these awards for the valuable work we deliver every day in Alder Hey Hospital.

“Everyone connected to Everton in the Community loves working at Alder Hey and are passionate about bringing happiness and changing the lives of the sick and disabled children for the better, if we can put a smile on the children’s faces even if only for a few minutes it means the world to us.”

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