18th March 2014

Swansea's Morriston Hospital, has been announced as the winner of 'The Workforce Impact in Practice' competition organised by national online networking site myhealthskills.com pioneered by Skills for Health.

The award, which invited entrants to submit a project that showed how a significant change made within the organisation resulted in better workforce planning and improved quality of patient care, was awarded to the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Renal Self Care Team for their Nocturnal Home Haemodialysis programme.

Image: Award winners.Conventional dialysis is a lifesaving treatment for patients with Chronic Kidney Disease but offers patient's limited freedom. This programme aimed to improve the quality and length of patients' lives by offering choice and introducing at home nocturnal dialysis. Nocturnal dialysis has proven to be an extremely effective treatment approach. As a result of the programme, twenty patients have been successfully trained to carry out nocturnal dialysis at home over 30 months.

The prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease is approximately 5% of the population and this is expected to rise due to obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease. In South West Wales there has been a dramatic rise in the number of patients needing renal replacement therapy.

On World Kidney Day, Anne Clarke, Director for Wales at Skills for Health, visited Morriston Hospital to meet patients and staff and to award them with their competition prize (10 Samsung Galaxy Tablets.) She commented, "I was really moved and humbled to speak to the patients and hear how the nocturnal dialysis really has transformed their lives. Many patients had previously felt that hospital dialysis treatment had taken over their lives, but this project has enabled them to recapture a level of freedom, control and independence."

Sister Gail Williams intends to use the tablets, awarded from myhealthskills.com, as an aid to fill the gap between supporting and delivering education to staff and patients

Myhealthskills.com is an online platform accessible to everyone in the health sector from nurses and support worker to clinical directors and CCGs. The site provides a platform for those working within the NHS to connect and engage with each other and foster learning and development. This is the only social platform of its kind and is growing every day. Currently, the network has over 2,200 active members who are passionate about making a change in the healthcare sector. Topical blogs and news items about health care related topics and issues are posted on the site every day.

Image: Anne Clark, Director for Wales, Skills for Health meets staff and patients at Morriston Hospital.

Anne Clarke, Director for Wales, Skills for Health meets staff and patients at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Renal Self Care Team. Left to right: Anne Clarke, Hayleigh Isaac, Sister Gail Williams

For more information visit: myhealthskills.com or follow the network on twitter @myhealthskills.

Image: Anne Clarke with the team at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Renal Self Care Team.

Anne Clarke with the team at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Renal Self Care Team