16 March 2017

Speech and language therapist up for award after developing innovative mental capacity toolkit


Pioneering toolkit could better support vulnerable patients to communicate their needs


A SPEECH and language therapist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a regional innovation award after developing a pioneering toolkit that could better support vulnerable patients to communicate their needs.

Funded by Health Education England and a National Institute for Health Research Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship supported by the University of Sheffield, Mark Jayes has developed and tested a prototype toolkit which aims to make mental capacity assessments easier and more robust to undertake.

Now he is one of three regional finalists in the Medipex Innovation Awards 2017 ‘Mental Health and Well Being’ category and could win up to £10,000 for his team to further develop the toolkit.

All health and social care staff are required to carry out a mental capacity assessment if they believe a patient may have difficulty thinking and communicating about decisions. This may be because of an impairment or a disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain due to dementia, stroke or another neurological condition.

However, this is a complex and challenging process, so using user-centred design principles Mark developed the Mental Capacity Assessment Support Toolkit (MCAST).

The toolkit provides a framework to help health and social care staff prepare, complete and document robust assessments. It also includes a communication screening tool and photographic and simplified language resources that can be used to better support patients with communication difficulties to understand and express information about decisions related to treatment options and discharge arrangements.

Mark Jayes, speech and language therapist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am extremely excited and honoured to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. The MCAST project has involved a remarkable collaboration between healthcare practitioners, service users and researchers. The project's success is largely due to the dedication, passion and generosity of all these stakeholders.”

The toolkit was developed in collaboration with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff, patients and design experts based at Design Futures at Sheffield Hallam University. It has been tested with 21 staff and 17 patients in a number of community and hospital-based settings, including dementia wards, stroke units and intermediate care.

John Kirkby, Creative director of Design Futures at Sheffield Hallam University, added: “This was a challenging design project that required a particularly strategic approach. The final design needed to convey all information clearly and in an ordered fashion whilst needing to be visually appealing to promote engagement. This required close engagement with Mark and the research team to ensure all design work included had a clear purpose.”

The toolkit was developed during Mark's Clinical Doctoral Fellowship supported by Dr Rebecca Palmer and Professor Pamela Enderby at the University of Sheffield.

If successful, Mark aims to make some further adjustments to the toolkit and develop a digital version and one that takes account of the cultural and ethnic factors that may impact on decision-making.

Michael Hanney, a clinical scientist in nuclear medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is also in contention for the ‘Service Improvement’ award after introducing new protocols that have shortened acquisition times and increased the accuracy of imaging techniques used to examine how diseases like prostate and breast cancer have spread to bone.

Previously the extended time required to acquire 3D images prevented the technique being introduced into routine use, and metastatic bone disease was assessed using less sensitive 2D images. The changes now in place reduce scan times significantly, and have allowed the more accurate 3D imaging to replace 2D scans in the nuclear medicine section.

Winners will be announced at an award ceremony at Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield on 23 March.

ENDS
 



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