Nomination recognises John’s work for the NHS

NORTHUMBRIA Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has once again been recognised nationally for listening to patients and improving experiences of care.

The organisation has been short-listed in eight of the 11 categories in the 2014 Patient Experience Network Awards, including a posthumous accolade nomination for John Dowswell, of Morpeth, for patient experience professional of the year.

He died in July last year, aged 55, after a brief illness and worked as an operational service development team manager in Northumberland.

Mr Dowswell set up forums for people with dementia and their families, played a pivotal part in developing the This is Me initiative that focused on improving care for people with dementia and led the Northumberland Ageing Well programme to help people stay active in later life.

Ann Brown, operations manager, involvement and service development at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “John was a visionary, as well as a compassionate and energetic man. His charisma, wealth of knowledge and experience combined with his humanity made him unique in so many ways.

“John was also inspired by the people he met every day, no matter what their problems, their background or how they chose to behave he saw everyone as simply struggling to make the best of their life.

“He inspired real involvement, listening, empowerment and positive change – he made a difference.”

The trust’s seven projects and programmes that were short-listed include improving the care of patients with dementia in the community and helping to reduce the number of patients re-admitted to hospital following a knee replacement.

The nominations come just a few months after Northumbria Healthcare’s approach to patient experience contributed to it being named provider trust of the year at the prestigious Health Service Journal Awards.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at the trust, said: “As an organisation we are committed to improving our patients’ experiences of using our services and it is a fantastic achievement to be nominated in so many categories for such different projects, which make a difference to patients in hospital and in the community.

“The nominations are down to the hard work and commitment of our teams on the ground who deliver these improvements on a daily basis and I would like to pay tribute to them.”