Nursing Times Awards highlights: Nursing in the Community

Spotlight on excellence: We wanted to tell you more about how community nursing initiatives are being recognised at the Nursing Times Awards and why it’s such an important category.

Below you will find out more about the Nursing in the Community category, which features each year at the Nursing Times Awards, including the criteria that entrants must meet and what the judges are looking for in the finalists and winners.

You will also find information on last year’s winner and finalists, with summaries of their projects and innovations. We hope you are inspired to enter or support the category in other ways.

Category criteria: Nursing in the Community

Nursing in the community is a distinct challenge, demanding independent work in diverse and often less-than-ideal environments.

This award celebrates the invaluable contributions of individuals and teams from the NHS or independent sector who navigate these challenges to improve patient care.

What the judges are looking for?

Exemplary initiatives may include:

  • Successful Community Discharges: Enabling more patients to receive effective care outside traditional hospital settings.
  • Extended Home Care Boundaries: Innovations that broaden the scope of care offered within patients’ homes.
  • Service Uptake in Hard-to-Reach Groups: Strategies to increase utilization among vulnerable populations.

How the entries are judged ?

Each entry undergoes rigorous evaluation against criteria including:

  • Innovation: Originality and uniqueness in addressing community healthcare challenges.
  • Value: Tangible impact on patient care and service effectiveness.
  • Measurability: Clear presentation of data demonstrating clinical or service improvements.
  • Leadership: Evidence of nurses playing a pivotal role in shaping community healthcare.
  • Transferability: Potential for ideas to be shared or adopted by others.
  • Evidence: Submission of concrete evidence supporting measures of success or efficacy.
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Find out more about our 2023 Nursing in the Community winner

WINNER – Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust

Dementia Palliative Care Team

The team’s main aim was to improve care for people in Derbyshire who were living and dying with dementia and had mental and physical health needs.

Focused on helping them to remain at home, the service proved valuable in meeting patients’ palliative and advanced care planning needs, and in supporting their families.

Quantitative and qualitative analysis indicated that patients’ healthcare usage levels fell significantly after the first contact with the team, a reduction in nonelective inpatient spells totalled £367,000, and positive reviews were received from all involved with the team.

The now substantive service continues to be a huge success, with recognition at a national level.

What the judges said about the winner

The Dementia Palliative Care Service deeply impressed the judges who were blown away by the innovation, passion and drive of its lead nurse.

This nurse-led service is providing an excellent level of care to a marginalised group and their families and carers and is trailblazing a way for the development of similar services throughout the UK and internationally.

What the winners said themselves about the experience

Find out about the 2023 finalists for Nursing in the Community

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust – Bringing care home with our intravenous nursing team
An initiative was rolled out so patients needing certain intravenous antibiotics could use a pump at home. The device was set up by a specialist nurse, negating the need for an inpatient stay. This tripled the number of patients who were treated.

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Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – A needs led mental health community rehabilitation team: working as part of a whole system
The project aimed to give multidisciplinary rehabilitation to people with complex mental health di-fficulties in the community, instead of in hospital settings or out-of-area (OOA) placements. It led to bed days and OOA admissions being cut and financial savings being made.

Compton Care – The development of a dynamic and highly responsive community palliative nursing team
Changes were made to the company’s care model to improve patient access to end-of-life regimens. By investing in more non-medical prescribers and setting up a nurse-led multidisciplinary team, community palliative services supported patients to receive timely interventions and remain at home.

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Urgent community response: virtual ward and care home teams enable people to stay at home
An SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendation) referral tool was adapted for use in four care homes to treat out of hospital. Emergency admissions fell and the scheme was rolled out to each care home in West Cheshire.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust – Improvements in the provision of end-of-life care: district nursing
Very few patients on the district nursing caseload died with an individual plan of care (IPOC) in place. A bespoke community IPOC was developed and an End-of-Life Care Champions group set up. Use of the IPOC increased by 54%.

East London NHS Foundation Trust – Tower Hamlets advance care planning team
Nurses were recruited to a team to help district nurses identify patients on their caseloads who might be nearing the end of life, so conversations around advance care planning could be had and holistic personalised care plans developed. Data showed that objectives were achieved.

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Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare – Reducing the cancer backlog through e­ffective partnerships
The company formed a partnership with numerous trusts across the UK and developed subcutaneous pharmacy clinics and infusion services to deliver high-risk cancer treatments closer to home. The initiative freed up more than 10,000 hours’ chair time in hospital.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust – Named nurse in community nursing
A new model of care was rolled out in the community nursing service so patients had a named nurse responsible for their assessments, care plans and reviews. Serious incidents and complaints fell, patient feedback was positive and staff job satisfaction rose, boosting retention.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust – Diabetes team hard-to-reach project
People living with diabetes in a care or learning disability home were missing annual diabetes reviews. This project aimed to upskill patients and carers to improve diabetes management and reduce diabetes-related complications and hospital admissions. In total, 49 hospital admissions were prevented.

Surrey Downs Health and Care – Transforming the digital processes between GPs and primary care via EMIS system
Antiquated ways of accessing GP appointments and specialties working in silos resulted in delays in patient referrals received in community services. Aligning the referral process to EMIS led to improved inter-specialty communication and collaboration, and fewer delays.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust – REACH (Reducing Exclusion for Adults with Complex Housing needs) team
By linking with homeless services, the team aims to house those living on the street so interventions around their mental health and substance misuse needs can be implemented. Tens of individuals were housed and had their health needs assessed, and contact with crisis mental health services decreased.

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