Staff Choice Awards 2018/19
Team of the Year Award

Abbeygate Ward

Has been shortlisted for this award

Wedgwood House 
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 

The nomination said...

We have consistently delivered a high quality of care to our service users, with a low re-admission rate – in fact, not having any within the last year. Our good relationship with carers is well known within our locality, with carers clinics and carer support being on offer weekly and as needed. Multi-disciplinary team working is well co-ordinated and we have a well-integrated therapy team based within the ward which enhances our treatment. We work closely with community teams to facilitate safe discharges and, with regular positive feedback from our service users and carers, have gained a good reputation Trust and county wide.

As a place to work, there is ample support for workers of any grade, with staff wellbeing being at the core of our values. Up to 50 individuals work in our team at any one time, but individualised support is always available in a team where care for each other is key to improving services. Career development and aspirations are taken seriously and retention rates of staff are excellent. Involvement in Trust initiatives is important for us to keep quality improvement at the heart of what we do.

Abbeygate has undergone an environmental redesign to support the reducing restrictive interventions initiative. Our seclusion area has been remodeled and all patients have a positive behavioural support plan where required. The environmental changes have given more space for patients to utilise and allows for more creative use of staff availability. Dementia Care Mapping is a regular initiative in a bid to improve the patient experience. The team regularly contribute to research projects in collaboration with the research department, particularly in relation to dementia-themed projects, and the team has been instrumental in supporting the smoke-free initiative. We have completed the ‘Time to Shine’ document which allows every staff member to celebrate our success and to be able to articulate this to visitors such as CQC representatives. Abbeygate have been implementing the Red2Green initiative to enhance our patient journey and have reviewed our ways of working for ward rounds to support the discharge planning within the R2G system. We have a practitioner who is educated in multi-sensory environments, learning from which has been shared with the wider Trust, and a small team of the senior nurses have been involved in the Hurst model assessments which it is hoped will give clear benefits to the whole Trust. Staff wellbeing is an important focus and in addition to staff wellbeing sessions on the ward in staff protected time, our wellbeing champion ensures that there are monthly wellbeing sessions for the whole staff team across the building.

Principles underpinning the success of the team are varied. The team are really colleagues in partnership within a supportive working environment who work with respect for each other. Every persons’ contribution is taken into account regardless of individual achievements or endeavours. The team work in a holistic and recovery-focused way and are open and honest and particularly transparent when reporting incidents.

There is an extra skill base and knowledge among the team specific to older persons and physical health issues which increases patient and carer confidence in the team. Sharing of knowledge is the norm through our extensive staff protected timetable. All staff work with a commitment to improving patient outcomes and experiences. Organisation within the ward and revisiting previous projects such as the productive ward series and safe wards ensures that shifts run smoothly and each worker knows their limitations and expectations within their role.

Staff who have worked on the ward a long time describe our team as the Abbeygate family, which is a true reflection of the affection we have for one another. Our staff retention rates support this.

Hopefully I have condensed most of our achievements over the last year but Abbeygate is an always improving and evolving work environment which is nurturing for both staff and patients and their families. Our carers clinics are extremely successful and joint working is actively encouraged.

The achievements of the team are especially poignant this year as it has been personally challenging for a substantial percentage of staff. This has made our professional achievements even more special and proves what a hard-working and committed team we have.