Solihull Together Awards: Collaborative Working Award 2017 - The Solihull Observer

Solihull Together Awards: Collaborative Working Award 2017

Solihull Editorial 21st Dec, 2017   0

WITH JUST over a month to go nominations are starting to pile up for the Solihull Together 2018 Awards.

Each week while nominations are open for the 2018 Observer-supported Solihull Together Awards, we are taking a look the award categories in more detail and sharing stories of the 2017 winners.

This week we are calling on Silhillians to get nominating for the Collaborative Working Award.

This category celebrates innovative work by any partnership or project which involves two or more organisations, groups or societies working together to support vulnerable and frail adults in Solihull.

The 2017 Collaborative Working Award was won by the MacMillan Occupational Therapy Team, which is formed of a partnership between Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The palliative care occupational therapy service is a specialist team which helps people who may have months, weeks or just days to live.

It works closely with the wider multidisciplinary palliative care team, across Solihull, Good Hope, Heartlands Hospitals, and receive referrals for patients with advanced malignant or non-malignant disease.

Lucy Davies, Macmillan occupational therapy team lead, said: “We might see patients from the last 12 months of life right through to the last hours or days of life so their abilities can really vary.

“Sometimes we’re are looking at simple aids and adaptations like mobility aids, managing the stairs or managing washing and dressing, right through towards the end of life when patients might be nursed or hoisted to and from the bed.”

One of the big benefits of this project has been to allow more patients to be discharged from hospital to the place where they would most like to be in their last days, whether it’s at home or in a hospice.

In fact, about 85 per cent of these patients are now getting to their preferred place of care.

The service also works to prevent unnecessary readmissions to hospital, to reduce a patient’s length of stay in hospital and to educate patients so they can improve their self-management of fatigue, anxiety and breathlessness.

Lucy added: “Winning the award has been great in terms of being able to promote the value of occupational therapy within palliative care and it has also helped to raise our profile.

“We were really pleased and honoured to have won – we didn’t expect it.”

The team, which launched four years ago with initial funding from Macmillan, has received lots of positive feedback from patients and their families.

One relative said: “We couldn’t have managed without you. Within a day you had arranged a hospital bed and all the other equipment mum needed and got a care package in place.

“I will never forget your help and the memories it has given us as a family having mum at home for her last Christmas.”

The Solihull Together Awards are an annual borough-wide celebration of outstanding care and support provided by residents, volunteers and professionals.

Now in their fourth year, the 2018 Awards recognise inspiring individuals and innovative teams who are working together to make life better for Solihull’s vulnerable and frail adults.

For more information about all the award categories and to submit an online nomination visit You can also find out more by following the Awards on Twitter @ST4BL.

The closing date for nominations is midday on Monday January 29.

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