Innovative projects pioneered by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust across the region receive national recognition


An NHS health trust that caters for the health and social care needs of 500,000 people living in Northumbria, has won two prestigious awards at the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA).

Against strong competition, the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s winning entries demonstrated to judges that staff consistently go “the extra mile” to ensure patients in the region receive the very highest standards of care.

In particular, the Trust’s commitment to delivering a ‘patient driven care pathway’ for the 2,200 people who benefit from hip and knee replacements – which cut infection rates by 80% and significant reduced patient readmissions – drew significant praise from the judges in the Communicating Effectively With Patients and Families category.

Meanwhile, the Trust’s work in helping nursing homes in the region tighten up their practices so they are able to ensure elderly patients take the right medications took the top award in the Personalisation of Care category.

The work being pioneered in Northumbria is set against a backdrop of up to 71% of elderly patients taking medicines that are not suitable, or have the potential to cause harm.

“This is an excellent example of what delivering a heightened Patient Experience is all about – putting the needs of people at the forefront of your thinking and delivering a service that resonates with them,” she said.

“As a key profession, PENNA 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 the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust winning entries more than achieved this goal, helping to make 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 the 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 on 5 February, to celebrate 12 months of real achievement in the field of Patient Experience throughout the NHS and private healthcare sectors.

Other 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
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust: Innovative Use of Technology and Personalisation of Care Awards
  • 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
  • Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust: Setting the Stage – Support for Caregivers Award
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust: Staff Engagement – Improving Staff Experience Award
  • Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust: Overall Winner

“You cannot underestimate just how much effort, time and goodwill individuals and teams have put into these superb initiatives,” said Ruth Evans.

“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 the kind of output and results achieved by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust the norm on a daily basis.”

The Trust manages hospital, community health and adult social care services in Northumberland and hospital and community health services in North Tyneside. It operates out of nine hospitals – three general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck and six community hospitals in Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth, Morpeth, Rothbury and Sir GB Hunter in Wallsend.

It is also building a new specialist emergency care hospital in east Cramlington which will be one of the first of its kind in the country.

RUTH EVANS, Managing Director, PENNA
Mobile: 07796 606610 Email.

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