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Hertfordshire nurse who revamped hospital discharge nominated for top award

Posted: 16 June 2022

Picture of Andrea Hone

A nurse who helped turn around her hospital trust’s discharge system has been shortlisted for a prestigious UK award.

Andrea Hone, from West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been selected from hundreds of entries as a finalist in the Commitment to Carers category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022. She will find out if she has won at a ceremony on Thursday 6 October in London.

Andrea acted quickly when the National Inpatient Survey showed that the trust had scored below average for considering patients’ home situations and involving patients in discharge decisions.

Working with the hospital’s integrated discharge team and Hertfordshire County Council, she started the Connecting with Carers Discharge Project to scope the needs of carers of patients in Watford General Hospital’s frailty unit.

Carers are identified and supported during a patient’s time at the hospital and there are prompt referrals for support as required. The trust has pledged to encourage carers to stay with the person they are supporting and to make them feel valued and supported.

A Caring for Carers support bundle includes a meal voucher for carers who stay longer than the visiting period, free car parking and a carer card or lanyard to allow them to be identified easily. Carers receive follow-up calls at two and four weeks after discharge to review referrals, check on wellbeing and to discuss any concerns.

Andrea said: “The project has given the trust an opportunity to expand the team and recruit a carer coordinator who will solely work to support carers and develop the service.

"One family gave feedback on discharge that had the Caring for Carers service not intervened following a referral, they may have been organising their mum’s funeral rather than discharge.

"I was honoured to be shortlisted for this award and it is definitely one of the highlights of my career. It makes me feel so proud to be able to showcase the project further.

“It is so nice to be recognised for the work that I have done to support carers and gives me even more motivation to improve and develop this service.”

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “This shortlist showcases the very best of nursing and highlights the work we do, day in, day out, to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients.

“I am so proud of all of these finalists.”

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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