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Award nomination for hospital trust’s innovative Shared Reading programme 

Written by Rachael Norris, 14th September 2020

Shared Reading delivers incredible connections and powerful moments for patients in Warrington and Halton 

Warrington and Halton Hospitals (WHH) NHS Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award for its work with The Reader to use Shared Reading to improve the patient experience on its wards. 

WHH is one of the first acute trusts in the country to introduce Shared Reading as part of a patient experience initiative. More than 150 patients have benefitted from the groups, which are led by staff from Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals who are trained and supported by The Reader.  The incredible impact in improving both the mental and physical health of patients has resulted in the Trust being shortlisted in this year’s Patient Experience National Network Awards (PENNA) – Partnership Working to improve the Experience category. 

Initially introduced on the intermediate care ward at Halton Hospital and dementia and stroke wards at Warrington Hospital, weekly Shared Reading groups bring patients and staff together to read aloud, share thoughts, reflections and memories sparked by the literature.  

Whilst the therapeutic benefits of Shared Reading in aiding recovery are well documented, Acute Medical Therapies Team Manager at WHH, Rachel Bold identified early on the additional benefit of these sessions in assessing patients. Shared Reading Sessions on the Forget Me Not ward (B12enabled staff to observe the physical and cognitive function and wellbeing of patients with dementia in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.  

After witnessing extremely positive results for both mental wellbeing and physical health WHH is now exploring rolling the programme out to support more patients on additional wards.  

Chief Nurse at WHH, Kimberley Salmon-Jamieson said: “Shared Reading has created incredible connections and powerful moments for patients, empowering them to find their voice and to re-connect with themselves, their fellows and our staff.  

“We look forward to introducing it to more patients this year.” 

Kyla Hall, Partnerships and Development Manager at The Reader, said: “What is so special about Warrington and Halton Hospitals is the way that staff have embraced Shared Reading as a different way to connect with patients and improve their experience of care whilst in hospital.  

“The Trust is really driving this initiative and we have seen talented staff using their passion for Shared Reading to benefit patients and help them connect with their own interests and each other.”  

Staff at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will find out if they have won an award at the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA) which will be held as a virtual ceremony on 15 September. 

The Shared Reading sessions at WHH have been supported by Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Charity.  

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