2011 winner

Winner 2011 Category “Outstanding care of an individual”: Hft Falstaff House in Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire

Hft Fallstaff House stood out for the care they gave to Tim, one of their residents who developed dementia. Tim’s story is told here. The judges were impressed by the way the team did their utmost to keep Tim’s best interest (rather than their own) at the heart of everything they did. This was not always easy. It involved engagement with a staggering number of outside agencies and professionals (including the funding authority) and with Tim’s family. The manager and the support team were staunch advocates for Tim, and this meant that he was able to be in the place where he felt most comfortable. They showed flexibility, creativity and a ‘can-do’ attitude. One of the judges commented: ‘If I was looking for a case study to use when teaching professionals what is involved in supporting someone really well, this would be it.’

Winner 2011 Category “Service and practice development”: Sharon Hicks

Sharon Hicks is a staff nurse at Severn Hospice Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. She worked on a project called “Widening Access to Severn Hospice for people with a Learning Disability”, which involved a partnership between the hospice , service users, carers, the Primary Care Trust and  Independent Sector Services. Sharon worked to create organisational change, mostly through the delivery of training the multi-disciplinary team within the hospice, and through ensuring collaborative working with outside agencies. To ensure that the project could achieve its objective, Sharon shadowed members of the learning disability teams and  networked with local authority services. She embarked on  a level 4 qualification (diploma in caring for people with learning disabilities). She also worked with people with learning disabilities, involving them in the training sessions at the hospice.  In collaboration with the service users, she developed an easy read hospice leaflet.

Sharon’s work is on-going. A hospital policy and care pathway are underway. She also has plans to look at support after bereavement with the hospice social work team. The judges thought that Sharon’s work shows how much one dedicated and determined individual staff member can achieve. There was clear support from the hospice and other agencies, but the enthusiasm and commitment of one member of staff really can make a difference. Sharon was nominated by Karen Breese, team leader of the local Community Learning Disability Team, who wrote: ‘Sharon’s enthusiasm and passion is infectious. She strives to ensure an equitable service while delivering person centred care. Although she has had some protected time to complete this work, she has always worked long and hard in her own time. Sharon is highly regarded among her peers for having taken this work on with the support of managers… she is supported and encouraged by people with a learning disability.’