25 October 2019
Fifth annual Singapore Patient Action Awards honour exemplary patient caregivers and advocates, patient support and volunteer groups, and patient engagement initiatives
Unsung heroes in health and social care were honoured today at the fifth Singapore Patient Action Awards (SPAA), which shine the spotlight on individuals and groups who have made significant and notable contributions in enhancing the care journey of patients.
The awards were presented at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s annual Singapore Patient Conference (SPC) 2019 by Guest of Honour Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, to nine individuals and eight groups who have made a positive difference to the community through their exemplary qualities of compassion, empathy, resilience, and generosity of spirit.
There are four award categories:
The Singapore Patient Caregiver Award honours caregivers for their strength, resilience, and unwavering dedication in caring for their loved ones amidst health and/or social care challenges.
For years, 83-year-old Mr Lee Cho Poon has opened his heart and his home to his fellow seniors, caring for them like a family member. His current housemate Mr Neo Cheng Liang uses a wheelchair to get around, and Mr Lee assists with his daily care needs. Having been socially isolated and withdrawn once, Mr Lee recognises the importance of keeping engaged and having someone to turn to in times of need; he makes the effort to bring Mr Neo for meals and walks around the neighbourhood.
The Singapore Patient Advocate Award recognises individuals who are passionate about advocating for meaningful causes, and have contributed significantly towards improving care delivery.
Mr Mohd Amin Bin Haji S S Mubaruk’s rare medical conditions and resulting physical disabilities have never set him back from his goals. Recognising the lack of support groups for certain illnesses and the feelings of isolation that can result, he set up Singapore’s first Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group in 2004, which has since expanded across many healthcare institutions to create awareness of the disease, provide support and advice to patients, and partner healthcare professionals in advancing the care and treatment of the condition.
Mr Chia Hong Sen was born blind, and as a teenager discovered the use of technology in aiding the visually impaired to navigate the world. After graduating from the Singapore Institute of Management, Mr Chia now works at the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, and has dedicated himself to helping others with visual impairments in using assistive technology in their daily lives and tasks, such as operating a smartphone and using Microsoft Office software.
The Singapore Patient Support / Volunteer Group Award celebrates outstanding groups that have led the way in helping others in need, and have contributed significantly to improving care delivery and services.
The NHGP Guiding Hands Volunteer Programme has been helping patients and caregivers visiting the polyclinics since 2011. As fall ambassadors, volunteers look out for frail patients and provide assistance, and provide valuable insights from the patient’s perspective in the design of new clinics; as wayfinding guides, they help patients and caregivers navigate the clinics, especially in multi-storey buildings. More recently, trained volunteers also act as health advocates, offering thematic, personalised health education and advice to patients.
The Singapore Patient Engagement Initiative Award pays tribute to collaborative health and/or social care projects or initiatives that contribute to the improvement of care and overall health and wellbeing of patients, caregivers, and/or the community.
With a garden, cooking sessions, and arts activities, The HUT is a home-like space within the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) that welcomes both patients and the public. 3 The space continues to be a volunteer effort by IMH staff, built with the aim of facilitating patients’ reintegration into the community through interaction in a nonclinical space, leading to mutual understanding and acceptance.
SPC 2019 is an annual unique patient-centred conference organised by TTSH’s Centre for Health Activation, in partnership with Central Health, TTSH’s Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing, National Healthcare Group, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, Institute of Mental Health, and Yishun Health. Now in its seventh year, the SPC is a dedicated learning and sharing platform for patients, caregivers, volunteers, community partners, and health and social care professionals. Through community outreach events, panel discussions and sharing sessions, SPC 2019 brought participants from across the care spectrum together to share their journeys and spark new ideas in building a community of carers.
During her opening address, Ms Phua said: “It takes a village to care for the community. It is critical that we empower our carers in the community with the right resources, skills, and knowledge to support to growing ageing population, so that they can successful age in place in the community and at home. The recipients of the SPAA spur us to be catalysts of change, and we hope that people from across Singapore will be inspired to step up, roll up your sleeves, and make a difference.”
Recipients of 2019 Singapore Patient Action Awards