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Award nominations flood in

Posted: 3rd April 2018

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is delighted to announce that three of its key programmes – Faecal Calprotectin, Safety Huddles and Hospital Mortality – have been shortlisted for four prestigious awards.

The Faecal Calprotectin Pathway, which helps GPs make the difficult discrimination between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has been recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence by being shortlisted for a 2018 NICE Shared Learning Award.

IBS affects 10-20 per cent of the population, half of whom will consult their GP with 79,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. IBD occurs much less commonly, being seen three per cent of the time.

As distinguishing IBS from IBD is difficult, as many as 19 out of 20 patients are unnecessarily referred to secondary care, which often includes an invasive colonoscopy.

Use of the new pathway in the region has resulted in a 40-57 per cent reduction in new hospital outpatients’ appointments and a 21-50 per cent reduction in colonoscopies. There are projected savings to each CCG of £68,000-£100,000 equating to a saving of £1.4 million across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has successfully supported the rollout of the new pathway across seven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and 198 GP practices.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Programme Coordinator, Victoria Hilton, said: “I am so proud that we have been shortlisted for NICE’s Shared Learning Award.

“Supporting and improving the NICE guidance has formed the basis of our project and it is great to be recognised for the progress we have made.”

Another programme Learning from Healthcare Deaths , which is delivered through the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Improvement Academy has been shortlisted for a prestigious BMJ Patient Safety Award and a HSJ Patient Safety Award in the ‘Quality Improvement initiative of the year’ category.

The programme supports the uptake of the retrospective case record review methodology called the Structured Judgement Review (SJR). This method, developed and validated by Professor Allen Hutchinson from the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Improvement Academy, allows Trusts to learn about both the good and not so good care in their health processes. Analysis of the review themes is used to inform and drive care quality improvement initiatives.

Dr Usha Appalsawmy, Clinical Leadership Fellow at the Improvement Academy, said: “Our work over the past four years has demonstrated how a standardised retrospective mortality case notes review can provide a robust method for organisations to assess their care systems and identify problems.

“Our support for organisations in Yorkshire and Humber who are learning together has yielded demonstrable benefits to organisations and an improved patient experience.”

It is important to highlight most patients who pass away in hospitals have had good care. However, when a review identifies failings in the care processes, whether this led to a death or not, then systems need to be in place to recognise and learn from these issues.

The Improvement Academy has trained more than 750 reviewers from multidisciplinary teams across departments and specialities in Yorkshire and Humber. Trained reviewers include specialist nurses, consultant surgeons/physicians, senior registrars, and senior allied health professionals.

Since February 2016 the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Improvement Academy has been working in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians to roll out the SJR methodology across England and Scotland for adult deaths in acute hospitals as part of the National Mortality Case Record Review programme.

The Improvement’s Academy’s Safety Huddle programme, which aims to integrate safety huddles into clinical care routines to reduce harm and create a safe space for discussion of patient safety issues, is also up for a HSJ Value Award.

The Improvement Academy’s Director of Nursing, Alison Lovatt, said: “I feel that being shortlisted is confirmation that our hard work over the last 3 years has been worth it and recognises the fantastic achievements of all the front-line teams we’ve worked with.”

Patient safety huddles are clinically led and locally owned, with key content for discussions tested and adapted by the team to fit their local context. Examples include which patients most are most at risk from falls and pressure ulcers.

Some of the teams who have successfully embedded huddles into their ward routine have significantly reduced harm, such as falls, and have improved their scores in team safety culture surveys.

With funding support from the Health Foundation, over the past four years the Improvement Academy has supported nearly 200 teams across Yorkshire to implement Safety Huddles in their environments and studied the impact on reducing patient harm and improving team working and safety culture.