WARRINGTON and Halton Hospitals Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award following the success of its Shared Reading programme.

The trust is one of the first in the country to have implemented the scheme, which is designed to improve the experience of patients being cared for on its wards.

The programme, pioneered by Liverpool-based charity The Reader, brings patients together in small groups to talk about and share great novels, poems and plays.

More than 150 patients have benefitted from the groups since they were introduced on the intermediate care ward at Halton Hospital and dementia and stroke wards at Warrington Hospital in July last year.

The scheme has been shown to improve mental and social wellbeing among participants, and after witnessing extremely positive results for both mental and physical health, the trust is exploring a further rollout to support more patients on additional wards.

The impact has been so positive that the trust has also been shortlisted in this year’s Patient Experience National Network Awards in the Partnership Working to Improve Experience category.

Kimberley Salmon-Jamieson, chief nurse at WHH, said: “Shared Reading has created incredible connections and powerful moments for patients, empowering them to find their voice and to reconnect with themselves, fellows and our staff.

“We look forward to introducing it to more patients this year.”

Kyla Hall, partnerships and development manager at The Reader, added: “What is so special about Warrington and Halton Hospitals is the way that staff have embraced Shared Reading as a different way to connect with patients and improve their experience of care whilst in hospital.

“The trust is really driving this initiative and we have seen talented staff using their passion for Shared Reading to benefit patients and help them connect with their own interests and each other.”

Staff at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will find out if they have won a Patient Experience Network National Award during a virtual ceremony on September 15.