Wandsworth CCG’s ‘Community Wards’ initiative has been shortlisted in the ‘Primary Care and Community Service Redesign’ category at the prestigious 2013 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The HSJ Awards, to be held on 19 November, are the leading awards in UK healthcare. With 22 categories the awards champion best practice and innovation to overcome the challenges which face the health sector today.

The Wandsworth Community Wards, delivered by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (which provides a wide range of acute services and community services), aim to improve patient experience, deliver better home-based care, and prevent hospital admissions. The wards provide a highly responsive multidisciplinary approach to the management of those patients in Wandsworth with chronic long-term conditions like diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

The shortlisted organisations, chosen from a record number of entries will now complete presentations and interviews to category specific judging panels made up of 85 senior and influential figures from the health sector.

Andrew McMylor, Director of Delivery & Development at Wandsworth CCG said:

“Being shortlisted for this award is great for Wandsworth and shows some of the great work being done to improve our health services.”

“At its core the Community Wards programme promotes joint-working between health and social care services by bringing together a team of staff including consultants, GPs, community nurses and social workers to make sure our most vulnerable patients can be looked after in their own home.”

“Thanks to a five year piloting and development period, the Wandsworth Community Ward incorporates a number of innovative adaptations, making it unique amongst other virtual ward models. These adaptations have been crucial to the success of the Community Wards in reducing emergency admissions for hundred of vulnerable and high risk patients, enabling them to remain happy and healthy at home.”

Alison Benincasa, Assistant Director, Older People and Neurological Rehabilitation Services at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Key to the success of the community wards over the last five years is the collaborative approach adopted by the commissioners, local GPs, and the wide range of services providing care to patients to the design and implementation of the service.

“This approach has undoubtedly improved the health outcomes for patients in Wandsworth. By providing care to patients in their own homes, the community wards help to avoid emergency attendances and hospital admissions by addressing complications before they escalate into serious issues”

Alastair McLellan, Editor-in-Chief, HSJ, said:

“I am delighted to announce the shortlist for the HSJ Awards 2013. Being shortlisted means that your organisation has been specifically chosen as a leader in innovation and best practice. We received a record number of entries for this, our 32nd year of the awards – a reflection of the pride health services and organisations have in their vital work.”

For more information contact Andrew Hobson, Communications and Engagement Lead and Wandsworth CCG on 07527 765007 or andrewhobson@nhs.net

For more information on the HSJ Awards go to http://www.hsjawards.co.uk

Notes to editors

For more information about this press release and for high resolution photography, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548. High res photos available on request.

About community virtual wards
The community virtual wards bring together the following staff groups who treat patients in their own homes:

  • Wandsworth GPs
  • Community matrons (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Specialist nurses (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • District nurses (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Palliative care (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Community physiotherapy (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Occupational therapy (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Community pharmacy (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Intermediate care team (St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Mental health, including drug and alcohol team (South West London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust)
  • Social services (Wandsworth Council)
  • London Ambulance Service

About St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the UK. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George's, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients' homes and Wandsworth Prison.

St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of four major trauma centres and one of eight hyper acute stroke units for London.

The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology, cancer and blood pressure services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.

For more information, visit www.stgeorges.nhs.uk