Patient walking group wins national award

A walking group set up to support patients in their recovery has been selected to win at the inspirational Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards.

Established at our Nottinghamshire site, the group completes at least a six-mile walk every Monday, and it has helped to improve all members’ physical health and anxiety levels in just five months. The walks enable staff members to provide talking therapy in a different environment, and helps staff identify areas where people may need further support. These are then followed up back at the hospital.

The initiative also teaches patients to take responsibility for themselves – from the importance of picking up their litter to closing gates, and even for looking after the team dog that accompanies them! 

The group also goes on one extended walk each month, including a trip to Whitby to explore its coastal paths. It’s proved such a success that the team have extended the programme to other wards and are also working with the National Trust to build options for visits and tours to motivate the group over the cold winter months.

The Compassionate Care awards were set up by Kate Granger, a terminally ill doctor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS.

Kate chose the nine finalists for this year’s awards shortly before she died on 23 July from a rare type of sarcoma. The St Andrew's team was selected from the record number of 130 entrants nationally in three award categories. The winners were chosen for making a fantastic difference to patient care with an idea that can be easily replicated by other healtchare providers.

The vital part is that it provides great experiences for patients. One group member said: “I love being part of the walking group and now Bryan the dog takes part it’s even better, he's become my little friend and he knows what's wrong with me. We walk together and I always know I can talk to staff on a Monday if I'm worried about anything.”

Another patient added: “I'm moving on soon and I will miss going walking on a Monday, it's helped me a lot. I'm going to see if they will set it up at my new place.”

For more information on the Compassionate Care awards, click here.