Trust wins Excellence in Communication and Engagement Award

Date: 08 April 2022

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Medway NHS Foundation Trust won the Excellence in Communication and Engagement category at this year’s Leading Healthcare Awards 2022, which were held virtually last night (Thursday 7 April 2022).

The award recognises the high quality of communication and engagement delivered by the Trust during the first phase of rolling out of Electronic Patient Record (EPR) to 24-adult inpatient wards, Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) wards, and 1,000 users, in less than five months.

At the moment, patient information is held in many different places on various systems, including on paper, which can cause unnecessary delays. In stages over the next three years, these records will be brought together into just one computer system.

To ensure the first phase went as smoothly as it could, the Trust made it a priority to engage stakeholders across IT, operations and clinical to make sure that everyone was aligned to the same goal. Leads from different areas could all contribute their expertise. Doctors and Nurses were given the opportunity to become a Digital Doctor or Nurse for the duration to allow them to commit and focus on the project, which in turn helped them become familiar and proficient at using the system when they returned to clinical work, maintaining strong communication between the clinical and programme teams.

Programme Director Suzanne O’Neil said: “We’re delighted to have won the award for Excellence in Communication and Engagement which is a tribute to all involved with the EPR project, the team’s creative and inclusive approach allowed us to ensure we involved as many people as possible to fast-track the rollout of our EPR.

“Right from the start, the Trust communicated the EPR roll-out as a cultural change project, making it easier to engage support from all areas. The aim was to learn from each other to build the most effective blueprint possible. The team referred to themselves as the ‘clinical transformation workstream’ and held weekly meetings to ensure that relationships were being built and nurtured to share learning.

“To help train staff how to use the technology, the learning process was turned into a fun competition with prizes available for the fastest teams, which enabled the Trust to train more than 1,000 users in a very short space of time. The presence of digital colleagues on the ward when the system went live also meant that there was someone on-hand to support and encourage staff. Clinical leads and other digital champions also made it their mission to communicate and reinforce the benefits with colleagues who had worries or apprehensions about the changes.”

With the system now live, ward teams are being proactive and communicating with IT every day to make sure they are working compliantly within the system, requesting data to see how they can improve. The continued touchpoint between programme and clinical teams have ensured compliance with the system and improved uptake.

Once EPR is fully in place across the hospital, all information about a patient’s medical history and treatment will be available electronically, on screen, at any location, at any time.

Alison Davis, the Trust’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “Thanks to an excellent communications and engagement strategy and collaborative working between clinical, operational and IT teams, the Trust was able to go live with EPR in record time.

“Winning this award is testament to everyone’s efforts to ensure the successful roll out of EPR - that it was embedded quickly in the areas it went live and that colleagues understood how to use the system.

“Electronic patient records is about giving our healthcare professionals the digital tools they need to do the job, every day. It addition, it will also vastly improve the patient experience. For example, patients should no longer need to give the same information to different members of staff several times or undergo repeated tests because there is no electronic record to access.”

In addition, the Trust was among five finalists for the award’s Best COVID-19 Project Team category, again for the roll out of EPR.

For more details about the awards visit

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust won the Excellence in Communication and Engagement category at this year’s Leading Healthcare Awards 2022, which were held virtually last night (Thursday 7 April 2022).