FROM helping people with delirium to an innovative way to cut down on single-use plastics, to helping patients get a better night's sleep, Royal Bournemouth Hospital has been sharing the secret ways its clever staff are improving their corner of the NHS.

The dementia and delirium support outreach team were announced as winners of the 2019 Quality Improvement poster competition this December.

Speaking about the project, team lead Louise Seaward said: "The team looked at difficulties and found there were inconsistencies in the service with the staff. We wanted to make sure it was consistent and sustainable so we made changes."

She said they had supported an additional 50-60 patients home since September 2018 as a result of making the improvements.

"We have managed to reduce the average length of staff to five days for our cohort of patients, avoid readmissions along the way and provide a three month open access for our patients that go home under the service."

Jen Rains, who is a physiotherapist with the Intensive Care Unit has also been working with patients who have acute confusion.

She's introduced basic techniques to help them, such as mobilisation and making sure they get a good night's sleep and has won money from Health Education England to contribute towards the project.

Emily Collom and Rosanna Thurlow in the Acute Physiotherapists in Acute Therapy Team have been helping their own colleagues avoid burnout and promote wellbeing.

"We wanted to promote wellbeing and support sessions that allow for peer reflection so we can share our shared emotions - we call it peer detox, because actually, we're all going through similar things and it's okay to feel this way," said Emily.

Deputy Sister Soo Keen, and Ward Clerk, Cynthia Southgate, in Orthopaedic Unit Ward 7, have been helping banish bureaucracy for staff dealing with palliative care patients.

They created the 'Butterfly Box' for palliative care patients whereby all the paperwork for people is kept in one place.

"We're really good at nursing our patients, but at the end, and out of respect for our patients, it made life easier to have the paperwork all in one box", said Soo. "The doctors know that if they have someone that needs end of life care they know they go to the Butterfly box to collect all of the paperwork.

"When a patient dies the nursing staff have got all the paper work there, so it made it much easier for them to be more professional in front of the family."

For Katy Legg, who is a radiographer, the environment was the springboard for her great idea.

She decided to banish the wasteful, single-use plastic bags used to carry patients' belongings, in favour of plastic trugs, which can easily be wiped down and reused for other patients instead.

So far the initiative has saved the hospital £1,000 in the last year and has led to a considerable reduction in plastic waste.

"Now we are hoping to get round the rest of the department - CT and MRI and spreading out around entirety of radiology - and then hopefully, if it works, the rest of the hospital as well," said Katy.

Over in surgery, Matron Sue Davies, has started her Sleep Well campaign because: "Wards can be very noisy places with equipment, squeaky doors and mobile phones causing broken sleep for many patients, putting them at greater risk of falling, slower recovery and increased vulnerability to pain," she said.

Together with Improvement Facilitator Emma Willett, Sue ran the Sleep Well campaign to encourage staff to reduce the noise on wards at night and aid patients' recovery.

Among the improvements are recruiting sleep champions for the wards, asking staff to reduce routine night-time observations if they're not medically essential, dimming lights and avoiding late patient transfers to reduce noise on the wards.

And finally, Carol Skillen and Vicky Nicholson who work in Surgical Frailty and Discharge have started a successful Get Up Get Moving campaign to cut down on patient muscle-loss, functional ability loss and improve mental wellbeing.

Carol and Vicky have been getting older surgical patients out of bed sooner to speed up recovery, reduce immobility and protect their independence.

"With new education, staff are now getting patients up from day one which frees up our therapists to do the more important things as people are coming through the door," said Carol.

"Patients' morale is much better as they are able to get up and look after themselves and get home quicker."