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Staff at Kettering General Hospital (KGH) have won two national awards for using digital technology and innovation to improve patient care.

Dione Rogers, KGH’s Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, won the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Silver Award for her outstanding contribution to digital nursing. She was presented with the award by Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, during one of the first meetings of a new Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Network for the Midlands.

Dione, who is chair of the Midlands network, said: “It was a great surprise and honour to receive the Silver Award for my work. I am passionate about how technology can help nurses and doctors do a better job for patients and empower them with so much information.

At Kettering we already have a digital observations system, where we can use iPads and mobile phones to securely share patient observations, handover notes, photographs, and referrals at the touch of a button. We also have systems in place to spot patients who are deteriorating so that we can prioritise those most need.”

Additionally, Anna Awoliyi, Chief Allied Health Professional Information Officer at KGH won the ‘Digital Champion’ section of the BAME Health and Care Awards 2021 for implementing a new booking system for ‘virtual’ visits for patients.

The BAME Health and Care Awards recognise the contribution and achievements of staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and more than 100 individuals and teams from health services across the country were shortlisted for the awards.

Anna said: “I’m so happy to see the positive impact the virtual visits booking system is having on the patients. In a time of Covid this has made a huge difference to patients and their families.”

During the pandemic, the hospital restricted visiting to protect patients and staff but patients were allowed ‘virtual visits’ which involved speaking loved ones via video communications using a tablet.

Anna said: “We provide tablets for the patients, which are held on stands, so they don’t have to hold them for long periods. Patients spend an average of 53 minutes on the tablets, which is a long time. The stands reduce the strain, and more patients are using the system now.”

Anna and the team improved and developed the initial software. They introduced new features such as an easy re-booking feature, so staff no longer need to input the details of the family every time they visit and a button that tells staff when a call has ended. Using the system, staff can check which patients have had a virtual visit and those who have not.

Kettering General Hospital is a key partner in the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ recruitment campaign. The campaign brings together the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital (KGH), St Andrew’s Healthcare and Northants GP and aims to recruit nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals to live and work in Northamptonshire.

To find out about vacancies across Northamptonshire visit http://bestofbothworlds.uk.net/