Published: 13:26, 14 April 2021
| Updated: 13:28, 14 April 2021
Teams based at one of the county's hospitals have been nominated for a national award recognising improving services in the past year.
Staff at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham are shortlisted after working hard during the pandemic to redesign and make services more efficient.
A prehabilitation service and workers in the emergency department were selected for the HSJ Value Awards 2021 in the acute service redesign initiative.
The MeFit service – a new and expanded programme – helps patients across Kent and Medway to support patients before operations or cancer treatment.
It works by providing individually designed healthcare programmes including exercise, diet and mental wellbeing in preparation for their treatment.
The service aims to reduce the risk of severe complications occurring during and after a procedure and increase recovery time.
The hospital's emergency department – which has come under fire from the health watchdog leading to it receiving the lowest rating from the CQC following a visit by inspectors before Christmas – has also been commended.
The team has worked on finding new ways of staffing the department, retain staff, reduce vacancies and relying on expensive agency staff as well as develop skills of the current workforce.
The award nomination is said to recognise the "diligence, ambition and positive impact" teams have had on the trust overall.
Chief executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust James Devine, who is set to leave his role this month, said: "We are delighted to have had not one but two teams shortlisted for the acute service redesign initiative award, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our teams over the last 12 months.
“We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for patients and the wider organisation even in challenging times, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.
"These shortlistings are a tremendous boost to both to our staff in the MeFit service and our Emergency Department. I am sure they will bolster our continued efforts to improve.”
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan added: “This year’s finalists have not only contributed to the continued fight against the Covid-19 pandemic within the NHS but have also been exceptionally dedicated to enhancing healthcare across the UK.
"We are honoured to be recognising and celebrating their outstanding work after what is, no doubt, the most challenging year in the history of the NHS."
All nominees will be subject to a tough round of judging ahead of an awards ceremony due to be held in Manchester in June.