THE Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has been shortlisted twice for a national award for its excellent use of resources to drive service improvements.

The Trust is a finalist in the Value in Healthcare Awards, which seek to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS.

The awards, led by flagship publication the Health Service Journal, attracted a record number of entries this year.

The finance team is one of three to be shortlisted in the Value and Improvement in Financial Services category.

The stroke therapy team, which won three national awards last year, is a finalist in the Value and Improvement in Community Health Service Redesign category.

Both teams have presented their entries to an expert judging panel and will find out if they have won at the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Tuesday 23 September.

The finance team’s entry centres on its vital input to the Trust’s vision to deliver care closer to home to patients in Exeter, Torridge, North, Mid, East and West Devon.

The team is able to evidence the activity of community staff, who care for around 6,000 people in their own home, in greater detail than elsewhere in the country thanks to the revolutionary ComPAS patient information system the Trust launched in 2012.

Crucially, the team can compare this activity in the community to hospital-based care.

Community nurses and therapists use Samsung Galaxy tablet computers to input live data while visiting patients, instead of having to return to base.

The finance team is able to analyse the data with pinpoint accuracy to increase understanding of community activity and drive future decision-making.

The team has developed a series of complex activity and finance predictive models and a set of local ‘currencies’.

These highlight and value activity by geographical area and help to inform the Trust and commissioners where investment in frontline staff is needed the most.

The stroke therapy team’s nomination relates to its highly successful early supported discharge (ESD) and VISTA projects.

The team has introduced home visits and additional care support from stroke therapy staff to allow an earlier discharge from hospital for patients.

It has also set up the innovative patient and carer support group called VISTA, which meets weekly and gives people the chance to join others in a similar situation as well as improve their fitness and speed up their recovery.

Feedback from patients and staff involved has been very positive and its impact has also been evident in clinical statistics.

Trust patients have reported a 94% improvement in self-perceived health and wellbeing following ESD.

Dr Alison Diamond, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “We were delighted to be named as a finalist in the Value in Healthcare Awards and recognised nationally as a leader in the field.

“To achieve both service improvement and outstanding efficiency is a vital balance that is more important than ever before.

“To be shortlisted for these awards, not once but twice, is very much down to the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of our staff to provide the very best care for our patients.”