Following exceptional entries from 37 services, the winners of the 2019 Excellence Network Awards were revealed back in May.
Here's what the winners do and why they won:
The Coventry and Warwickshire Regional Parkinson's Service has teamed up with the Coventry, Rugby and Warwick Myton Hospices and the Mary Ann Evans Hospice in Nuneaton to offer inpatient and outpatient respite care to people with Parkinson's and their loved ones.
As part of the service, specialist nurses who care for people with complex or advanced Parkinson's provide not only medical and symptom control but also friendly emotional support. They also arrange sociable lunches for patients.
Andrea Lindahl, Service Lead and Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, says that a key feature of the service's success has been seamless communication between Parkinson's nurses, hospice staff and consultants. This allows care for patients approaching the end of life to be specifically tailored to their needs and in the setting they prefer.
Award judges were impressed by the service's combination of emotional support for both people with Parkinson's and loved ones, alongside symptom control and seamlessly integrated anticipatory care planning.
In 2016, the speech and language therapy (SALT) service at Royal Berkshire Hospital was awarded a Service Improvement Grant from the Excellence Network.
With the grant, James Martin, Speech and Language Therapist and Dr Apurba Chatterjee, Consultant Geriatrician, co-led a project to improve referral pathways for speech therapy as well as raising communication and swallowing difficulties across the hospital.
Evaluation of the project so far has shown an increase in referrals to the SALT service and a 50% decrease in wait times for SALT assessment. The number of people with Parkinson's seen on the same day has increased from 13% to a high of 58%. Wider ward-based training has contributed to the increase in referrals.
Award judges praised the service's elevation of SALT awareness throughout the hospital and the team’s ability to deliver a highly efficient specialist service from a small service improvement grant.
Since 2016 the Plymouth Parkinson's Service team has been implementing various changes to improve inpatient experiences. The service is led by Dr Camille Carroll, Associate Professor at the University of Plymouth and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.
Emma Pearson, Parkinson's Nurse Specialist in the team, explains: "Since December 2016, we have combined the use of the repeat admission patient alerts system with our patient management system.
"This immediately alerts the Parkinson's nurse service of an admission to the hospital of a person with Parkinson's, enabling us to speedily visit the person on the ward soon after admission, assess needs and provide medication advice, and place Get It On Time stickers on patient notes and medication charts."
She adds: "As a service we continue to attend community Parkinson's UK groups to ensure all people with Parkinson's are aware of our service prior to coming into hospital and liaise closely with other professional community services to ensure continuity of care."
Val Evans's husband has Parkinson's. He was recently admitted to the Derriford Hospital. She says: "We both arrived in a very distressed, frightened state but the Parkinson's nursing team visited us within a few hours which was calming and reassuring.
"Together we agreed an excellent care plan, including self-medication, for my husband. This plan continued to work very well throughout his seven-week stay in hospital and in subsequent regular follow-ups by the nursing team."
Award judges noted the service's holistic dedication to improve the experience of people with Parkinson's while in hospital and their efforts to reach out to the community pre- and post-admission.
Highly commended services
The multidisciplinary team based at Stobhill Day Hospital in Glasgow was highly commended for its integrated delivery of exercise for people with Parkinson's, led by physiotherapists.
The team includes a consultant geriatrician, two highly specialist physiotherapists, two physiotherapy support workers, an occupational therapist, a speech and language therapist and two Parkinson's nurse specialists.
The physiotherapy team at Stobhill Hospital has trained in the internationally recognised PD Warrior exercise programme, and developed their own programme of intensive physiotherapy, including a 10-week high level exercise class, available in groups or as 1:1 sessions.
Lois Rosenthal, a specialist physiotherapist at the service, explains the benefits of the 10-week programme: "We have found that it empowers people to take control of their situation, improves fitness, builds relationships with others, and instils confidence in their own ability, encouraging a fighting spirit."
The team has also set up a referral agreement with the Parkinson's-specific high intensity programme Rock Steady Boxing.
Award judges praised the service for its integrated and holistic approach, enabling an accessible and personalised exercise action plan to support those recently diagnosed with Parkinson's.
Specialist nurse Susan Lawley, physiotherapist Graihagh Betteridge and occupational therapist Clare Collister make up the core local team covering the Isle of Man and support approximately 228 residents living with Parkinson's in hospital and the community.
People affected by Parkinson's have played a large role in shaping the team's priorities and the service.
Following suggestions from clients the team offers weekly exercise classes, produces information packs for newly diagnosed patients and holds informal 'tea with the team' meetings. This is a chance for people affected by Parkinson's, including friends and family, to meet and chat as well as discuss health and care services with the team and Parkinson's UK local advisors.
The core multidisciplinary team meets regularly and works closely with other health and social care professionals to discuss complex cases, providing accessible and person-centred support to those affected by Parkinson's on the Isle of Man.
Award judges praised the service for its holistic approach and relationship-building with other professionals to raise awareness of the condition.
Clinical Director of the Excellence Network, Dr Donald Grosset, said:
"The professionals behind this service are successfully reducing the length and number of hospital admissions – one way we could see that a truly outstanding service has been created for those affected by Parkinson's on the Isle of Man."
This is the second time the Parkinson's Advanced Symptoms Unit (PASU), a community-based outpatient service supporting people in Teesside, has been recognised by the Awards.
The PASU service supports people in advanced stages of Parkinson's By helping people manage their own condition and developing personalised action plans to improve symptoms and reduce carer strain, the team has made an estimated £1 million of potential savings to local trusts, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities.
The team has also significantly improved quality of life of people with Parkinson's by reducing the number and length of emergency hospital admissions and introducing more interventions to support patients' wellbeing.
Neil Archibald, Consultant Neurologist and Service Lead, explained that in addition to providing direct clinical care, the wider PASU team has also helped set up several new innovations across Teesside following feedback from patients, such as a choir, yoga group, exercise bootcamp and dance classes.
The PASU team has also trained over 200 local people working within the health and social care sector about Parkinson's best practices, including medical and nursing students, mental health professionals, specialist nurses, junior doctors and palliative care teams.
Clinical Director of the Excellence Network, Dr Donald Grosset, said:
"Although they are past award winners, the judges felt the team deserved to be recognised again this year, with highly commended status, due to their ongoing excellence."