A WINCHESTER rehabilitation ward in Winchester has been recognised in regional and national awards for its work supporting elderly patients as they recover from treatment.

The Royal Hampshire County Hospital's Clifton Ward won the Wonderful Workforce Solution of the Year category at the annual Health Education Wessex Shine Awards and has also been shortlisted for a national Nursing Times Award.

One of the regional judges said: "This initiative to empower patients and carers is really at the forefront of thinking about changing how we see the NHS."

The project, which was funded by The Health Foundation, aimed to ensure all hospital staff, from doctors to housekeepers, were trained in coaching conversations with patients and their families. The idea was to create a sense of partnership and, by doing so, help to rehabilitate the patient ready for their return to everyday life.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Associate Director for Workforce Development, Beverley Harden, said: “Recovery is a joint responsibility. We also involve carers and relatives, for example encouraging them to take the patient for a walk or to the café for a cup of tea when they visit rather than sitting by the bed.

“This project was about changing the quality of the conversations between staff and patients, to ensure the patients are partners in their own care rather than passive recipients.”

Clifton’s Recovery Coaching project has also been short listed in the Nursing Times awards, in the Care of Older People category. The team were shortlisted from more than 700 entries overall and the winners will be revealed at the end of October.

Hampshire Hospitals Chief Nurse Donna Green said: “We are delighted that the team from Clifton ward has been recognised with this award after all the work that they have put in, but the real reward is the improvements in recovery for our patients.”