Lifestyle Programme For People With Mental Illness Supreme Winner At CDHB’s Quality Improvement And Innovation Awards
A programme that encourages people with mental illness to make healthy lifestyle choices was the Supreme Winner at Canterbury District Health Board’s Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards held this week.
The Active Life Programme, developed by Comcare Charitable Trust, was judged Supreme Winner from a total of 15 projects. Along with the supreme award, winners from three categories – Community-Based Service, Hospital and Specialist Service and Systems Improvement – were announced at the ceremony, which was held at the Canterbury Horticultural Centre. Comcare Charitable Trust also won the Community- Based Service category.
Comcare Charitable Trust developed and set up the Active Life Programme for people with mental illness in two urban and two rural Canterbury settings in 2008, with oneoff funding from the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).
The programme, which ran for 16 to 18 weeks, was designed to support people with experience of mental illness to make healthier lifestyle choices. It consisted of an hour of physical activity each week and a weekly education session, which had a range of topics, including nutrition label reading, a supermarket tour and self esteem.
Research shows that people with mental illness generally have poorer physical health compared to the general population. It also shows that physical activity and healthy eating are beneficial to people’s mental health. An evaluation of the Active Life programme showed that it was a success, with most participants becoming more active and continuing to have a healthier lifestyle than before they began the programme. Participants also reported improved mental health and self esteem.
CDHB Corporate Quality and Risk Manager Jan Nicolson says the judges were so impressed with the standard of this year’s projects that 10 of the 15 entries had received awards.
Peter Rose, Chief Executive of Quality Health New Zealand, also presented the CDHB with its three-year Equip4 accreditation at the Awards, saying: “It was evident to the surveyors that the governing body and the executive of the Canterbury District Health Board are fully committed to ensuring quality and safe care. Structures and processes supporting quality improvement are robust and a culture of performance improvement and patient safety is developing through all services.”
Jan Nicholson says, “This was the first time we have had a one organisation approach towards accreditation and the first time against the new Equip4 standards. Receiving this accreditation affirms for the people of Canterbury that CDHB is meeting internationally recognised standards of care and delivery.”
Other successful projects in the awards were:
• A specialist speech language therapy clinic for people with Parkinson’s Disease, based at The Princess Margaret Hospital, won the Hospital and Specialist Service category. Results from the programme, which helps to improve patients’ speech volume, showed a marked improvement in patients’ confidence and ability to communicate with others, which led to an increase in independence and quality of life. • The Systems Improvement category was won by CDHB’s Child and Family Specialty Service, based at Whakatata House. The service has implemented a new system which has led to improved waiting times for children with mental health issues and their families. It has also ensured families are more involved in goal setting and the development of treatment plans. • The runner up in the Community Based Service was the roll-out of the Community Stroke Rehabilitation Service at The Princess Margaret Hospital. The aim of the service is to provide rehabilitation in their own homes to all people over 65 years old in the greater Christchurch area who have had a stroke. • There were two runners-up in the Hospital and Specialist Service category. These included a one-day advanced course at Christchurch Hospital aimed at registrars involved in trauma management to improve communication, teamwork and leadership. The other project was a programme implemented at Hillmorton Hospital’s forensic unit, which encouraged patients to take part in adventure activities to develop confidence and self-esteem. • The runner-up in the Systems Improvement category was a joint initiative between the Medical Physics Department and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Christchurch Hospital. The departments worked together to improve a device which controls patients’ sedation. • The Judge’s Award went to a project which has led to faster reporting of patients’ imaging results by the Radiology Department, which has in turn led to faster diagnosis and treatment of patients and reduced bed gridlock at Christchurch Hospital. Details about other projects can be found at http://www.cdhb.govt.nz/quality/patientsafety/ 2009awards.htm or http://intraweb.cdhb.local/corp%2Dquality/promoting/2009_awards.htm