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Focus: Project that took patient care to new heights comes out top at national awards

Published: Thursday, 15 November 2018

Focus: Project that took patient care to new heights comes out top at national awards

Focus on exemplary work

A partnership team who encouraged hospital patients to engage in various activities - including a virtual hike of Tinto Hill – were top of their category at The Scottish Health Awards.
The Think Activity Project, which was pioneered in Kello hospital, Biggar, South Lanarkshire, seized the Top Team gong.
Kello is a 17 bed community Hospital providing inpatient services for adults and older people requiring rehabilitation, general medical and nursing care, and end of life care.
Activities - ranging from standing up and sitting down during television adverts to racking up the equivalent steps required to scale the local 2333ft local peak - were set up as part of a person-centred approach to addressing a common challenge.
“The negative impact of sedentary behaviour within hospital is well-documented,” explained project lead, Janice McClymont, Head of Occupational Service of NHS Lanarkshire/South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
“It has been shown to accelerate the loss of performance and to have adverse effect on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
“This has the added impact on the nature of the eventual discharge, including levels of packages of care required and eventual destination for the patient.
“Conversely, the positive impact of activity on these factors and on individuals’ mental and physical wellbeing is increasingly recognised.”
The project was delivered by Lianne McInally of Health Improvement Scotland, Professor Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the multi-disciplinary team at Kello Hospital.
Analysis of data at the hospital highlighted relatively low levels of patient mobility, and limited opportunities for engagement activities outwith traditional treatment and therapy sessions. The project then focused on implementing changes to increase physical activity levels and cognitive stimulus. 
“A wide variety of activities were introduced to the wards,” explained Maureen Dearie, Clydesdale Locality Manager of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
“This ranged from the aforementioned virtual hike, to involvement in small groups such as music and movement, singing, dancing, crafts, games, baking, afternoon tea and plant pot planting, to name but a few.”
The initial programme was developed by the partners into an ‘activity passport’, which enables patients to express their likes, dislikes, and encourages them to set realistic personal goals for activity achievement.
Evaluation of the project showed a marked increase in activity levels and positive feedback from patients.
Staff are currently sharing the learning from the project with other teams across acute and community hospitals within Lanarkshire.
“What was truly innovative about this was the way it involved the wider community,” continued Ms Dearie.
“Carers, visitors, local nursery groups, and High school pupils were all encouraged to participate in different activities to support patients to keep active, motivated and engaged. 
“The approach epitomised our partnership’s wider approach and vision, working to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community.”