Mandy Hannigan - Winner: Care Professional of the Year Award

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Providing different ways of rehabilitation and support in patients’ homes after frail older people have been discharged from Solihull Hospital, is the role of SID. No, this isn’t a man who undertakes this role single handily, it’s the Supported Integrated Discharge (SID) service: a partnership between Solihull Council Adult Social Care and Heart of England Foundation Trust.

The aim of the team is to reduce the length of time people stay in hospital, and to help them return home as soon as they’re able. By providing this service within the home environment, it’s estimated that the length of time a person stays in hospital can be shortened by up to two weeks.

One of three social care assessors working within the SID team is Mandy Hannigan. Mandy and others work in partnership with therapists at Solihull Hospital and social care support workers. Her dedication, commitment and above and beyond attitude to her job included working on a voluntary basis at weekends, in order to provide a seven day service for elderly people leaving hospital.

Mandy Hannigan, Promoting Independence co-ordinator at Solihull Council, said:

“I love the job I do – it’s fantastic. To have the opportunity to do this role, where you get to work with people that you know you’re really able to help is incredible.

“Since taking on the role I’ve helped to develop a seven day service for those who leave hospital during the weekend. Previously, we offered a Monday to Friday service which was great, but didn’t take into account those people who need to leave hospital on Saturday or Sunday. Hospitals run seven days a week and I thought we needed to too. 

“In line with my manger and Solihull Hospital, I was able to volunteer and pilot a weekend service. Thanks to all involved it was a success, and we were able to help more elderly people in the borough.  For most people, once you’ve been cared for at hospital, you just want to go home to the comfort of your own bed and be surrounded by your own things. It’s these things that make a real different to the overall wellbeing and health of people.

“I have great job satisfaction: knowing we can help people in this way, enabling people to live happier, healthier lives. I’m passionate about my work, I’m dedicated to what I do and to the people I serve. I think it’s that ‘can do’ attitude that’s helped me to keep striving to make sure elderly and frail people across the borough get an excellent service.

“I am extremely enthusiastic about the work we do, it’s all about what we achieve for the people who need this service. One of my favourite sayings is ‘nothing is insurmountable everything is achievable’. I really do believe that, just as much as I believe that you can only work well if your part of a strong wider team and management structure. 

“I’m proud of winning the Care Professional of the Year award and of what we’ve achieved as a service. But I simply couldn’t do it without the support of others and would especially like to thank my manager, Julie Blake, for her guidance and enthusiastic leadership which has enabled me to broaden my skills and develop the service.”

As well as those who work for SID being recognised for their services, SID also won a national Health Service Journal award in November 2014, in the category of Secondary Care Redesign. Mandy's commitment to the seven day pilot has put SID on the map and set the precedent for being a pioneering initiative. 

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