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British Nursing Journal Awards 2017

Congratulations to Modern Matron Nokuthula Ndimande and her team from Allen Ward at the Warneford Hospital Oxford Health NHS Trust, for their work in reducing failure to return from leave by adult patients in the acute psychiatric sector in collaboration with the Oxford AHSN Patient Safety Collaborative and Oxford Health Safer Care Team.

Nokuthula has been recognised by the British Journal of Nursing as Mental Health Nurse of the Year 2017. She pays tribute to her team for her success ‘I couldn’t have done it without such an amazing team’.

The Absent Without Leave Project (AWOL) focussed on reducing the number of times patients returned late from leave. Failure to return from leave from acute psychiatric wards can have a range of negative consequences for patients, relatives and staff. The project has changed hearts and minds so that patients and staff collaborate to plan their leave which is part of their recovery programme. Through the effective application of Quality Improvement approaches the project has resulted in a marked and sustained improvement in the number of patients returning on-time from leave.

“Through their understanding and passion for patient care and safety, and their drive and support for our teams, they (Oxford Health Safer Care team and Oxford AHSN Patient Safety Collaborative have enabled the wards to achieve excellent success in implementing, maintaining and sustaining of the safe return of mental health patients from leave using quality improvement methodology”. Nokuthula Ndimande, Matron, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.