The huge impact staff are having on the delivery of improved patient care services at Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust has been formally recognised at the Patient Experience Network National Awards.


Health professionals from Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust have been crowned overall winners of the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA) after being recognised by both the audience attending the awards conference and the judges.

The Liverpool-based team, which caters for the varying health needs of 72,000 inpatients and outpatients entry year, was declared the UK’s top Patient Experience team after demonstrating to PENNA how its collaborative approach to delivering heightened levels of care – which includes working closely with relatives – is having a positive impact on patients.

As well as being crowned overall winner at PENNA’s annual finals day in Birmingham, Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust also won the Setting the Stage – Support for Caregivers category, one of 10 sector and two special awards that were up for grabs. Judges were particularly impressed with the way in which the Trust has allowed family members to become involved in the delivery of care for relatives. This was emphasised throughout Liverpool’s award submission and a presentation that was given on the day of the finals.

While a new 20-bed surgical ward – which patients and families have helped to design – is at the heart of its Patient Experience offering, the Judges were equally impressed with the day-to-day activities organised by Trust staff that allow patients and their families to define the types of care that are given.

Effective and appropriate communication is at the heart of what is being achieved in Liverpool, and a wide range of initiatives – with “optimising the involvement of families in delivering and supporting patient care” at the heart of everything they do – has achieved a huge number of positive outcomes.

Ruth Evans, managing director of PEN, was fulsome in her praise for the winning submission. She said: “This is an outstanding example of what delivering a heightened Patient Experience is all about – putting the needs of people who are vulnerable, and often incapacitated to some degree, at the forefront of your thinking and delivering a service that resonates with them.

“As a key profession, PEN believes Patient Experience leaders need to be better at measuring and reporting the impact of their initiatives to ensure they catch the attention of their leaders and also the general public.

“I am delighted to say that Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust and our other finalists and category winners have achieved this and made this year’s event the most successful in our history.”

The awards ceremony was held at the iconic Birmingham and Midland Institute – a former refuge of one of Britain’s greatest writers, Charles Dickens – based in the heart of England’s ‘second city’.

More than 200 Patient Experience professionals, including the Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer of NHS England, gathered to celebrate 12 months of real achievement in the field of Patient Experience throughout the NHS and private healthcare sectors.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust each scooped two awards.

The Northumbria team’s success in the Communicating Effectively with Patients and Families and the Personalisation of Care categories recognised the significant contribution local NHS teams are making to people in the region.

The entries highlighted the major steps forward taken by Trust staff while communicating to patients who experience lower limb joint replacement surgery, and how the introduction of a new framework has led to major improvements when medication is dispensed to people residing in nursing homes.

In Nottinghamshire, nursing staff are using technology and social media to deliver a more “open, transparent and online” service to many thousands of patients. In addition, the Trust has also developed a vigorous recruitment process – to identify people who “are naturally compassionate and driven by a strong value base”.

The success of these people-focused initiatives led to the Trust securing success in the Innovative Use of Technology/Social Media and the Setting the Stage – Setting the Foundation category awards.

“These are wonderful examples of how new and uncomplicated processes and initiatives lead to better patient outcomes,” added Ruth Evans. “The secret of these four submissions was their simplicity and the ease in which they can be replicated in other Trusts.”

Other category winners on the day were:

  • Sally Ryan of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust: Patient Experience Professional of the Year
  • Kath Evans of NHS England: Outstanding Contribution Award
  • South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust: Access to Information Award
  • NHS Lanarkshire: Continuity of Care Award
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust: Environment of Care Award
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service: Setting the Stage – Measuring, Reporting and Acting Award
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust: Staff Engagement – Improving Staff Experience Award

“You cannot underestimate just how much effort, time and goodwill individuals and teams have put into these superb initiatives,” said Ruth Evans. “Unfortunately, there can only be one overall winner as far as the awards are concerned.

“But the reality is that patients throughout Britain are the big winners from these initiatives. It means they are experiencing heightened standards of and outcomes and services that are commensurate with their needs and expectations.

“The challenge for all health professionals is making these kinds of outputs the norm.”

RUTH EVANS, Managing Director, PEN
Mobile: 07796 606610

TONY YORKE, Media Relations Adviser, PENNA
Mobile: 07879 658888