The rheumatology service teams from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust have been awarded 'Best Practice' awards by the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR).
The awards celebrate an innovative or particularly successful scheme involving patients in their local service improvement.
In addition to winning the 'Best Practice' award, the team from University Hospitals Bristol and
Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) were also recognised for 'Outstanding Patient Involvement' for their work on developing osteoporosis services with Bristolians. The team worked closely with Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) volunteers to develop a targeted self-management education programme for patients with osteoporosis.
The programme includes a 'Look After Your Bones' course and half-day public educational events. Since the introduction of the programme, there have been higher levels of patient satisfaction, with a reduced number of hip fractures observed across the Trust from 2015-2018.
Terrie Stocker, clinical specialist nurse at UHBW, said: "It is fantastic, of course, for our unit to be recognised by this award. The whole team are really pleased - it's great to have some good news in these difficult times.
"It has been really important for us to work together with our patient team, with the Royal Osteoporosis Society volunteers who regularly give up so much of their time, but also the participants who have taken the trouble to attend review events and help us continually make the courses more relevant over the last five years. It will be important in the coming years to help patients maintain their exercise levels and fitness"
The feedback from patients on the 'Look After Your Bones' course has been extremely positive. One participant said that 'this programme clarified [their] knowledge on osteoporosis and treatment and gave [them] confidence to join exercise classes and some hope for self-help in the future."
The award went to the team at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) who implemented a ‘Living Well Pathway’ which includes education events to provide patients with information on self-management of chronic inflammatory arthritis or connective tissue conditions.
The Pathway runs alongside the patients’ usual treatment and has resulted in improvements in patients’ levels of fatigue and depression in addition to increased patient engagement.
Dr Kate Druett, clinical psychologist at NBT, was involved in developing the pathway and said: " It was great to hear that our Living Well Pathway had been selected and received the recognition that it deserves. It's been a real boost especially at the moment with all the extra demands that the team and patients are under due to COVID.
"Our team and patient partners have put a lot of time and passion into developing this pathway, and it's been incredibly rewarding to have the huge amount of positive feedback from our patients, and now from the BSR with this award. We'd like to thank all our patients who've contributed and our team for all the support throughout in establishing and embedding this pathway. We hope that this can help support other teams in continuing to develop the self-management support for their patients, particularly in light of how valuable our patients have found this. Our next steps are delivering these groups virtually, and looking at developing our online resources so that these can reach and be accessible to a greater proportion of our patient group."
Patient feedback on the Pathway has been very positive. One patient said that it was helpful to “hear from other people and how they’re coping and realising that [they] are doing OK and that [they] are not alone.”