July 4, 2023

Support for local people waiting for surgery nominated for national award

HSJ patient safety awards 2023 - we are proud to be a finalist
HSJ patient safety awards 2023 - we are proud to be a finalist

A project that supports local people who are waiting for surgery at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust has been shortlisted for a national award.

The ‘Waiting Well’ project uses social prescribing and self-management to support patients from across Wakefield who have waited more than 52 weeks for surgery that requires an overnight hospital stay. It has been shortlisted in the 2023 HSJ Patient Safety Awards in the ‘patient safety in elective recovery’ category.

Waiting Well uses a social prescribing link worker to support people on waiting lists to maintain their independence, mobility, finances, relationships, and mental health, as well as helping to reduce falls, support carers, and reduce pressure on local health and care services.

By the end of May 2023, all patients waiting over 52 weeks and 70 percent of patients waiting over 35 weeks had been contacted and offered support. Eighty people are now accessing support through Waiting Well.

Waiting Well is a pilot project across Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership (WDHCP), Live Well Wakefield (Nova Wakefield District, and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) and Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust.

Rebecca Dunford, Service Manager at Live Well Wakefield, said: “We know that waiting for treatment can be a difficult time that not only impacts on a person’s physical and mental health but on their families and carers too.

“Through Waiting Well we are providing patients with the opportunity to address their needs, put personalised plans in place to support them and potentially improve the outcome from their treatment.

“Every single patient who has accepted the offer of Waiting Well support either improved or maintained a maximum wellbeing score, which just shows the positive impact that social prescribing can have on a person’s readiness and confidence for their surgery and on their recovery.”

Jo Webster, Accountable Officer for Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership said: “Providing personalised support closer to home to help people maintain their independence and wellbeing as they prepare for treatment is just one of the ways we are working together across our local health and care system to tackle the impact of the pandemic on surgery waiting lists. We are delighted that our work to develop more joined up care across the Wakefield District has been recognised with this nomination”.

Social prescribing is a holistic, person-centred approach to health and wellbeing that puts the patient at the heart of their own care. For people who are waiting for surgery, social prescribing interventions could potentially lead to better control of symptoms, maintained independence, the need for less complicated surgery, reduced inpatient stays, less intensive rehabilitation after surgery, reduced medication, and overall better outcomes.

The national HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2023 celebrate excellence in safety, culture, and experience in patient care. The award ceremony will be held in Manchester in September.

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