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Major award win for pioneering health team that gets patients home sooner

HSJ Awards 2014An innovative partnership between the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and two West Midlands councils has been recognised for its achievements in supporting patients with a prestigious national award.

The Supported Integrated Discharge (SID) team at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital works in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council to help ease the transition from hospital back into the home for frail elderly patients seeking treatment for acute illnesses.

Its excellent success since its introduction in 2012 has now been recognised at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2014 where the partnership won in the Secondary Care Service Redesign category, overcoming stiff competition from 11 other providers from across the country. The judges praised the ‘significant joint working’ by the SID team and said it offered ‘outstanding integrated success’.

Introduced in November 2012 at Heartlands Hospital, before being extended to Solihull a year later, the SID team is made up of hospital therapists, as well as social workers and carers from Birmingham City Council and the Promoting Independence Service from Solihull Council, who work together collaboratively to ensure patients regain their independence and health as quickly as possible.

Once it has been decided that a patient is well enough to return home, the team will discuss any ongoing care needs with the patient and ensure the right level of support is arranged. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy assessment and treatment are offered to promote recovery in the home, rather than on hospital wards.

As a result of introducing the programme, patients return home sooner and have a better overall experience through a more streamlined discharge and re-ablement process.

Mary Ross, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust clinical director for therapies, said: “This award is a tremendous honour for the Supported Integrated Discharge team and is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of all those involved which has seen this cross-organisation partnership be a huge success.

“We are very proud of the contribution this team has made to ensuring patients regain their independence as quickly as possible and of the proven benefits of a reduction in hospital stays over 14 days for patients aged over 65, faster recovery rates and an improved patient journey.”

Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Birmingham City Council, said: “We have been delighted with the success of the SID team which has shown what can be achieved when organisations pool their resources and work together to improve outcomes.

“This award is a wonderful achievement and my congratulations go to all the staff whose dedication has achieved this great recognition and most importantly benefitted the patients using our services.”

Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Solihull Council, said: “I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of the Promoting Independence Service, who support our patients through the Supported Integrated Discharge service, has been recognised by the HSJ. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved by organisations working together and is a truly outstanding achievement – well done to all involved.”

The HSJ Awards is now in its 33rd year and is the largest celebration of healthcare excellence in the UK highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector.

The SID team was also shortlisted in September at the HSJ Value and Healthcare Awards which recognised outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS.

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