Innovations and Best Practice Programme


The CHA Awards Programme 2000-2020


Since 2000 the CHA has given 145 awards.    The record of awards can be downloaded here and demonstrates the breadth of services and facilities that are offered in our community hospitals.

CHA Innovation and Best Practice Awards 2021


Our awards programme for 2021 will be different to previous years. We will be linking this with the CHA study on the role of community hospitals during Covid-19 (read more here), which is funded through the Q Community. We will be selecting award winners from this programme and giving the awards in 2022. 


CHA Innovation and Best Practice Awards 2020


The panel were very impressed with the quality of the work and the calibre of presentation especially given the impact of Covid-19 on Community Hospital Teams.

Thank you to everyone who participated.    


Improving Patient Care

Creating with Care

Paula Har Safeguarding Lead Community Hospitals/Dementia Nurse Specialist and Angela Conlon Arts Co-ordinator , Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here


Improving Staff Experience and Well Being

Creation of a Team Canvas

Sue Greenwood, Modern Matron, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here 


Covid-19  Joint Winners 

1) Staff Support through the Repurposing of Tewkesbury Hospitals’ Abbey View Ward/ Communication Team

James Willetts, Operating Theatre Manager, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here for Staff Support and here for Communication Team


2) Training multi-professional staff at pace during a pandemic, to deliver a competent and confident redeployed workforce for our community hospitals 

Sandra Speller, Professional Head of Therapies, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here 


Highly Commended

Creating a Community Assessment and Treatment Unit to support Frail Elderly Patients during National Pandemic across Cornwall

Sue Greenwood, Modern Matron, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here


Improving rehabilitation services for patients, through the implementation of Bitesize Training and improved multi-disciplinary team (MDT) working across

4 Intermediate Care Units

Steffi Bailey, Physiotherapy Inpatient Clinical Lead, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here


Setting up a Stroke Rehabilitation Unit as part of an Integrated Stroke Pathway in Gloucestershire

Angela Dodd, Therapy Lead – Stroke Rehabilitation – The Vale, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

For more details please click here


Use of Flow Coaching Methodology in Big Room multidisciplinary team meetings to identify patients with frailty and improve outcomes in

Robinson Community Hospital, Northern Ireland

Mary O’Boyle, Project Lead (PL) for Robinson Hospital Frailty Project, Northern Health and Social Care Trust

For more details please click here


If you need any additional information or support please do not hesitate to contact us via with your query and contact details

Information on previous Innovation and Best Practice Award Winners can be found here:


Previous CHA Award Winners


The CHA has been running an annual Innovations and Best Practice Programme since 2000, and during this time has given awards for 145 community hospital services across the UK.   


CHA Award Winners from South Petherton Community Hospital


"A Helping Hand - Hand Hygiene for Children"  CHA Award to Bridgewater and Burnham on sea Community Hospitals


This is a reminder of a past award winner that is highly relevant to today.   Modern Matrons from two community hospitals in Somerset received the award for the programme of hand hygiene that they had instigated in schools. With musical backing and audience participation, they showed that by making fun of a serious issue they were able to teach the children the importance of hand hygiene so that the children could share this with parents and beyond. They linked up with school nurses to present an action day and used a UV light box to demonstrate to the children how well they had done, and how they needed to improve. The Matrons had everyone at the CHA conference joining in, washing hands to music.  The photo below shows Trish Jay for the CHA committee giving the award in 2005 to Chere Turbeville from Bridgewater and Sharon Hines from Burnham on sea.


F.L.O.R.A. the Falls Trolley, South Petherton Community Hospital


FLORA the Falls Trolley was developed in September 2017, following discussions within our monthly falls local action group meetings (FLAG), which I chair at South Petherton Hospital. In this meeting a theme was identified that the that post-fall checklist and actions were not always being completed correctly, and that there was not a safe place to store falls alarms.   We had discussions about what we could bring to the ward to help this, and were keen for it to be an active and useful resource, available at the point of care for a patient following a fall, therefore FLORA was developed as a quality improvement project to address these issues and has also addressed more.  Dr David Seamark presented the team with the CHA Innovations and Best Practice Award. For more detail please click here


*Treatment Escalation Plans, Crawley Hospital


A treatment escalation tool to go hand in hand with a DNA CPR order with 100% emphasis focused on the patient’s wishes so they feel heavily involved in their own care and treatment options in advanced care planning. For more detail please click here


*Daily Safety Huddle, Horsham Hospital


The Daily Safety Huddle is a 5-10 minute gathering of staff at the same time every day to support the daily review of key safety issues, looking back 24 hours and looking forward 24 hours. It is a short succinct safety-focused information sharing event to highly and resolve safety issues.  Within the huddle there is a weekly topic.

For more detail please click here 


*Hospital to Home Clinic, Horsham Hospital


The Hospital to Home clinic was set up to try and improve the transition of patients from hospital to home, and reduce the level of readmissions. The clinic is a social interactive hub held every two weeks on the ward and designed to introduce services and support to patients and families.  It is currently coordinated by the OT and therapy technician and attended by patients, relatives and carers along with Age UK, Carers Support, Apetito, British Red Cross and Carers Health Team.

For more detail please click here


Scotter Ward Support Sessions,   John Coupland Hospital


We have developed a new way of supporting staff to ensure quarterly clinical supervision, attendance at staff meetings, ensure all staff attend mandatory bespoke to the ward training, provide a forum to feedback and disseminate learning points from IR2s and RCAs.  Also to give staff an opportunity for dedicated discussion and support from peers and managers and give staff protected time out from the ward setting.  For more detail click here


Bereavement Sleeves, John Coupland Hospital


On the ward we make bereavement sleeves with a small gift in side for the relatives that house leaflets that relatives need following a patient’s death.

For more detail please click here 


Branching out into Social Media,  John Coupland Hospital


The way in which Scotter Ward are using social media in order to increase the profile of the ward in the wider community, demonstrating a vision to embrace different ways of staff and public engagement, share good news, bench mark good practice, share ideas and aspirations, keep abreast of local and national initiatives and show how they support staff and patients through education.  For more detail please click here


Cultural Awareness App, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust


This app has been developed to provide some guidance on delivering culturally competent care for all our patients. It has been designed to support colleagues to have conversations with patients and carers from different backgrounds, to help colleagues understand and meet any cultural or religious needs they might have.   The app was highlighted as outstanding practice in the recent Care Quality Commission inspection with a view that it was the first of its kind the inspectors had seen.

For more detail please click here 


A Selection of Previous CHA Award Winners 


Improving the Care of the Deteriorating Patients in Community hospitals  - Somerset Community Hospitals


The purpose of the project is to improve the recognition and escalation of deterioration in patients in Community Hospitals, so that they receive timely and appropriate treatment, to improve patient outcomes as well as prevent admission to acute trusts.  The CHA committee members were impressed by this excellent scheme to enable staff across the local NHS to be confident in identifying the deteriorating patient, take appropriate action, escalate where necessary and learn from experience.


Hospital Fete with a Difference - Health and Wellbeing Fair - North Cotswolds Community Hospital

The purpose of the project was to bring together Community Hospital staff, volunteers and local agencies to hold an afternoon of fun activities, information and advice on health and wellbeing.   The CHA committee members were impressed by the vision of this event, which brought together staff, patients, volunteers, third sector agencies and local community groups. As a new hospital with no tradition of holding a fete this served as a way of promoting the hospital and sharing information about its services and facilities.


Early Supported Discharge for Stroke and Acquired Brain Injury Countywide Service -  South Petherton Community Hospital

The project provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation to stroke and acquired brain injury patients in their own home and to expedite discharge from inpatient settings. This is a community-based service with links to community hospitals and takes referrals from both acute and community hospitals and offers multidisciplinary rehabilitation to patients in their own home.  Staff are very motivated and enthusiastic about this new model of care, as they are witnessing the benefits to patients and families.


Community Services - Friends of Blandford Community Hospital  

This project has been developed to provide voluntary transport and support to people in the local community which was launched in 1996 as “The Friends and Practice Scheme’ when it initially included roles such as companionship, shopping and voluntary transport for medical appointments.  Over 1000 clients are now requesting the voluntary transport but also additional service are provided, including regular shopping trips and social outings.


The service is well planned and managed and The Friends employ four part-time staff to manage the transport scheme and other activities such as hospital volunteers, two shops and fund raising events.


Introduction of Activities Co-ordinator  Chard and Crewkerne Community Hospitals

The introduction of an Activity Co-ordinator into the wards at Chard and Crewkerne Community Hospitals was an exciting venture to increase the self-worth and fulfillment of patients as they rehabilitate in order to develop their stamina, cognition and overall well-being.   This is a highly person-centered initiative, appropriate for patients on the wards and addresses their wider needs, such as social activities, special interests, activities of daily living and prepares them for discharge. Leadership is clear, enabling the  Activities Co-ordinator to respond flexibly as possible to patients needs and preferences.


Friends of Crowborough Hospital - Social Day Service   Friends of Crowborough Community Hospital

The Friends of Crowborough Hospital undertook to run a social day centre at Crowborough Hospital, after plans to close the service.    The Friends have been very thorough in planning and managing the service, assessing all potential attendees to ensure their needs can be met and have a clear risk management process. The Friends have enabled older people who are socially isolated or lonely.   The Friends have shown that, as volunteers, they are able to make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of the local community and that extensive partnership working is demonstrated.


Ambulatory Care at Minehead Community Hospital

A new service has been introduced offering ambulatory care to day case patients who require services such as management of central venous catheters, intravenous antibiotics, blood transfusion, iron transfusion, urethral catheter care and management of chronic leg ulcers.  Many of the patients attending are undergoing chemotherapy.  An average of just over 80 patients are seen a month.   For one patient attending, the service saved then 28 visits to the General Hospital which saved over 1500 miles travelling and over 55 hours of their time.  The staff have said that patients have benefited from easy access to a simple care pathway.


Frome Community Hospital Engagement Project

The League of Friends and a hospital team worked together to make the most of community engagement. Initiatives included a quarterly community hospital forum, a twitter feed from the Matron, siting a food bank at the hospital, involvement in the Dementia Friendly town project, providing work placements for 6th form students, displaying artwork from the local school,  and having a weekly afternoon tea for patients staff and volunteers.  The scheme has had very positive feedback from patients, visitors and the wider community, and the project continues to be expanded.


The Millom Model

The Millom model for Millom community hospital involves partnership working between Cumbria Partnership Trust, North West Ambulance, Millom GP practice, University Hospital of Morecombe Bay acute trust, the third sector and the local community health action group.  The Millom model has been recognised as achieving outstanding partnership working. Benefits have included a thriving hospital, a reduced length of stay for patients in the community hospital, 150,000 fewer miles travelled, 100 fewer people moving for A&E, and 100 fewer people moving for non-elective admission.