Endocrine and Stroke ward named ‘Change Champions’ at local hospital awards

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has named Ward 17 colleagues and Therapy Assistant Practitioner in Falls, Jo McQuade, asChange Champions’ at the Star Awards. 

The award ceremony, held this year on 2 November at The Dome, is an annual event where healthcare professionals from a diverse range of roles come together to recognise and celebrate the amazing contributions of their colleagues.  

Individuals are encouraged to nominate their peers for notable contributions in a variety of categories including ‘Rising Star’, ‘Supporting Team of the Year ‘and ‘Unsung Hero’. 

The Change Champion award recognises individuals or teams who strive for positive change within their work, placing the enhancement of patient care at the core of their mission.  

As an Endocrine and Stroke unit, Ward 17 colleagues, alongside the steadfast and integral support of Therapy Assistant Practitioner in Falls Jo McQuade, have been commended for their work in combatting pressing challenge of hospital-acquired deconditioning and its impact on patient safety. 

In November last year, the team launched ‘Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving’ project, aimed at supporting patients to become more active, independent and mobile during their hospital stay and preventing the risks of falls.  

Hospital deconditioning can occur amongst patients after relatively short periods of hospitalisation due to extended periods of inactivity and bedrest during their care. Posing a risk to a patient’s healthy recovery, it can often lead to problems such as diminished muscle mass and strength – up to 30% in only ten days, alongside joint pain, incontinence, pressure sores and a general decline in mobility – ultimately increasing a patient’s chance of having a fall.   

Involving comprehensive engagement from clinicians at all levels and specialisms, alongside support from the Trust’s Quality Improvement Team, Ward 17 colleagues focused on ensuring all patients were up out of bed, dressed and encouraged to walk around. To support with this, mobility goals were displayed above bed areas, individuals were provided with a walking aid if required and offered the use of the day room for a change of scenery and visit from a family member.   

Patients were also encouraged to visit the toilet rather than relying on a commode and staff members actively initiated discussions about the benefits of getting out of bed.  

The team have stressed the importance that this was not a project undertook alone, highlighting that colleague Jo McQuade was a massive driving force behind this work, going above and beyond to champion and support the team, providing guidance and skills training on reducing falls risks.  

Jo McQuade, Therapy Assistant Practitioner, shared: “I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for the award along with my colleagues on Ward 17, and then to ultimately win it was an amazing experience. It has been an honour and privilege to have led on this very successful QI project, working with some really lovely people. I may have been a catalyst for change, but my colleagues on Ward 17 embraced this change and have continued to sustain it, achieving some fantastic results and ultimately improving patient care. Collaborative working at its very best.” 


Their innovative approach, dedication, and passion for patient care have resulted in a remarkable 60% increase in patients spending their days out of bed, contributing significantly to their overall well-being and recovery. 

The impact of their work is not only evident in the numbers but also in the positive feedback received from both patients and staff. Patients have shared a sense of empowerment from the team’s encouragement and support and Ward 17 colleagues have reflected on feeling more confident in their skills and knowledge to tackle hospital deconditioning.  

This recognition comes on the heels of the team’s remarkable success, as they recently won Gold in the NHS England Reconditioning Games, following national commendation of the team’s initiative to improve patient mobility and recovery seeing huge success.  

Marie Hardacre, Associate Chief Nurse for Patient Safety and Quality, said: “I am immensely proud of Jo McQuade and the Ward 17 Team for their exceptional achievements in this project. Their dedication to improving patient outcomes and creating a positive, patient-centered environment has been amazing to see. Their collaborative efforts have created a lasting impact on so many patients’ lives in the last 12 months and will continue to do so. Congratulations on this deserving recognition.” 

Hosted by Radio Heart DJ David ‘Dixie’ Dixon, over 500 staff members attended the evening to hear the inspiring stories of the fantastic nominees and winners. The highly anticipated awards ceremony will return again next year.