AN NHS care trust has showcased innovative projects created by staff.

Ideas developed by employees at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to enhance patient care were recognised through an awards scheme.

Projects chosen by a judging panel received funding from the trust's iCare innovation development programme, so they can be further developed over the next year.

Winners included occupational therapist Beth Chesworth, who has established a therapeutic horticultural scheme at the Airedale Centre for Mental Health in Steeton.

She has created a sensory and edible garden.

Beth says: "Nature-based activities are known to provide stress relief and relaxation for people, as well as improve physical health and functioning.

"The edible garden is packed with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Patients can take the time to grow these to support their mental health and wellbeing, benefitting from being in nature and taking pride in cultivating their own plants."

Also recognised was Samantha Kumbula, an assistant psychologist, who is using sensory toys to help youngsters manage anxiety and emotions.

"The toys work by enabling young people to redirect their physical and emotional energy into an object during stressful and challenging situations," she says. "Since the approach was introduced, young people have been provided with a positive distraction, which has created a calming effect and increased feelings of wellbeing."

Another winner is Rachel Archer, a lead occupational therapist, who has developed staff training videos regarding the usage of hospital beds in community settings.

"The videos provide an accessible visual reference point to assist registered clinicians in the selection of beds and bed rails," said a trust spokesperson.

Therese Patten, the care trust's chief executive, praised the award winners and their projects.

She said: "We are delighted to have the chance to enhance our care, as much as possible, through this programme.

"We're pleased to support projects that can make a positive change at our trust and in the wider healthcare sector and are delighted to recognise and celebrate these fantastic individuals, who are dedicated to innovation and making a difference to people’s lives."

And Farhan Rafiq, the iCare programme lead, says: "This programme and funding is an amazing opportunity for staff to test out new ideas to enhance patient care.

"It has been a real pleasure to see the outcomes of their hard work and the impact they have made in our trust. We are very proud of all the staff involved."