Top award for South Tyneside Hospital kids’ team

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A nursing team has scooped a national award for its work with children at higher risk of illness due to a virus

The children’s community team, based at South Tyneside District Hospital, won the Service Improvement category of pharmaceutical company AbbVie’s Embrace Stars 2016 awards, for their work in relation to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Trust chief executive Steve Williamson said: “Our children’s community nursing team are dedicated to improving care for patients in South Tyneside, and they deserve this fantastic recognition for their work which is making such a huge difference to children’s lives.”

RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can lead to severe lung infections in vulnerable children, such as those with chronic lung disease or certain heart problems, and the very young, or premature babies.

“A medicine injected monthly over a five-month period can provide some protection.

Clinics for administering the injection were previously held at the Harton Lane hospital at different times throughout the week. South Tyneside parents and carers of children at risk from RSV were asked what their preferences were and it was identified that a Saturday morning was the preferred option.

Text message appointments and a system for a reminder phone call the day before the clinic were set up and, as a result, in 2015/16, there has been a 100% success rate in take-up of the treatment, thus protecting vulnerable patients and reducing hospital attendances.

Staff nurses Amie-Jane Swindon, Gillian Curry, Heather Anderson and Brogan Tallack represented the winning team at the awards ceremony in Birmingham.