A health trust in the Tees Valley has been recognised for a national award for its work educating patients about the health benefits of being active.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a 2024 HSJ Partnership Award for Most Impactful Partnership in Preventative Healthcare.
The Trust has been recognised for its work as an ‘Active Hospital’, a joint initiative by the NHS Transformation Unit, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and Sport England as part of a two-year pilot that first began back in 2020.
The Active Hospital team identified two inpatient ward areas and two outpatient areas that would be focus areas for the duration of the pilot.
As part of the pilot, the Trust worked with patients to ask questions, understand their goals and placed them in control – all while helping patients (and staff) to understand the importance and benefits of physical activity in more detail.
Inpatients who were able were encouraged to get out of bed, dress and actively move about on the ward. While outpatients, were signposted and given support plans.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, alongside Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust were all a part of the scheme and are part of the group award nomination.
Leanne Mitchell, quality, safety and Innovation lead, who was the clinical delivery lead at the time of the pilot, said: “It’s really great news to hear that the project has been shortlisted for an award.
“We were really passionate to be a part of the pilot and thrilled when we were one of the Trust’s selected. It’s great to have acknowledgement for the work done to date and we couldn’t have done it without the buy-in and support of staff and patients.
“It was a challenge to embed the programme into the hospital during a pandemic, but there has definitely been some positive outcomes that have continued to be implemented further within the hospital.
“Thank you to everyone who helped us.”
Following a rigorous judging process, Phase 2 of the Active Hospitals project has been shortlisted as a ‘success story’ ahead of the annual Official HSJ Awards ceremony. Next stage will see the pilot project presented to the award board ahead of the award evening, which will declare the overall winner at Evolution London on 21 March 2024.
About Active Hospitals
Following a successful bid, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust was one of the first of five NHS trusts nationally to have piloted phase 2 of the Active Hospitals programme – part of the Moving Healthcare Professionals Programme (MHPP).
Physical inactivity is associated with 1 in 6 deaths in the UK – the same statistic as smoking. It is estimated to cost the UK £7.4 billion annually, which includes £0.9 billion to the NHS alone.
Physical activity can help us to feel better and improves physical and mental health. It can also help to reduce the risk of common health conditions like diabetes, dementia or heart disease. Even small, incremental changes can make a big difference to overall health.
The Active Hospitals project involves exploring integrating physical activity interventions into hospitals and to get staff and patients talking about why physical activity is so important for health – with the direct promotion of physical activity within the secondary care setting and by signposting to pathways where patients could find further support to get and then ensure they keep active.
The two-year national pilot ran from October 2020 to November 2022.