HEALTH services which help young and old Wearsiders are in the mix to scoop prestigious national awards.
Out of a record number of entries this year, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s community Falls Service and community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have been shortlisted in the Patient Safety and Care Awards 2014.
Both teams work with people from across Sunderland.
The Falls Service’s entry is for its innovative work in reducing the number of falls among older people in the city.
To measure whether they were making a difference, the team carried out an audit and, among 142 patients who completed their rehabilitation programme, the number of falls was lowered from 629 before taking part to 117 afterwards (81 per cent).
Six months after discharge however, 69 per cent of those who had completed the programme had not experienced a fall.
Clinical business manager Lee Whitfield said: “It is clear from the audit that the incidence of falling and the risk of falling have successfully been reduced.
“Patients who attend tell us they feel stronger; that their confidence is improved and that they have not had any further falls.”
The CAMHS entry is for the Fun Friends group programme, which helps children aged four to seven to overcome anxiety-related issues such as social phobia, separation anxiety and general fears such as of the dark, of dogs, of lifts and of toilets.
Results from a pilot scheme were very positive, indicating reduced anxiety in all six children who took part.
Now, it is being rolled out and there are plans for more involvement of parents and school staff.
Early years mental health specialist Donna Carlyle said: “Social and emotional development in the early years of life is of great importance.”
The winners will be revealed at a ceremony on July 15.