A NEW way of rewarding successful teamworking among community health staff has been introduced in West Devon.

A team of Livewell Southwest health workers at a Tavistock GP surgery is supporting patients at home so well they are being rewarded with a ‘hug in a mug’.

The idea has been introduced by the matron to further encourage the way different disciplines of health worker are currently working together.

Kim Beattie, Livewell Southwest’s Interim Community Modern Matron for West Devon, surprised Gina Horsfield with the first mug full of treats for her passion for carrying out compassionate care.

The recipient fills it and pays it forward weekly to someone they think is deserving from a different team.

Gina works in the Health and Social Care Hub which is part of the wider Community Health and Social Care Team based at Abbey Rise in Tavistock.

The team includes community nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, support staff and an administration team.

The team prides itself on joined-up working alongside patients and families, to provide personal programmes of health and social care or rehabilitation in their own or other residential setting.

This provides the best service possible, enabling people to lead their best lives at home with a multi-disciplinary approach addressing issues not necessarily directly health-related.

 Kim said: ‘I chose Gina for the ‘hug in a mug’ to thank her for doing joint visits with the district nurses. I am so proud of the continuous wrap around work we do within our locality.’

‘It ensures patients have the right services in the room. For example, they may have environment issues that are impacting their health. We would then carry out a joint visit with a district nurse and member of the social care team.

‘There may be financial issues impacting someone’s health and well-being. A nurse or therapist may carry out a joint visit with a member of the voluntary sector or social care team to ensure financial issues are looked at as well as health. The daily joined-up approach is constantly improving outcomes for our patients in and around Tavistock, as well as being a huge support to each other within our own teams.’

 Gina, a team co-ordinator, said: ‘It’s an incredible team here and I am so proud of all we achieve collectively. I am very happy I got the job and that I get to work with such fab people.’

 Gina’s Manager, Anna McVeigh is Gina’s manager and community therapy team lead: ‘This is such a fantastic initiative to thank staff personally for their continual efforts providing outstanding care in the Tavistock area. Gina is new with us, but fits in brilliantly and has already built-up relationships with colleagues of all professions.  ‘She is a very worthy recipient of our first Hug in a Mug’ and we are very lucky to have someone so compassionate and professional on our team.’