A Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) project designed to improve the healthcare experience of patients has won an innovation award.
The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Faecal Calprotectin programme was awarded a Medipex NHS Innovation Award last night.
This latest success comes just a week after the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Improvement Academy scooped a coveted Royal College of Physician’s Patient Care Award for innovation for its electronic Frailty Index (eFI).
The Faecal Calprotectin programme is an innovative test that helps GPs to discriminate between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) reducing the need for patients to undergo invasive colonoscopies.
Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has successfully implemented this pathway to six CCGs and 131 practices with a further five CCGs fully engaged with implementation plans in place. Potential return on investment from regional implementation is over £1.4 million and the pathway is influencing national guidelines.
Two further programmes delivered by the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN through its Improvement Academy were also nominated for Medipex Innovation Awards. They were the eFI and the Diagnostic Virtual Ward pilot project.
The electronic Frailty Index (eFI) helps primary care providers identify older people with frailty who face an increased risk of care home admission, hospitalisation and mortality by using information within a patient’s electronic health record.
It was described as ‘one of the most effective pieces of innovation I have ever come across’ by Dr Martin Vernon, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Older People and Integrated Care when he spoke at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Innovation, Improvement and Impact Conference in January this year.
The eFI was developed by the University of Leeds, TPP, the University of Bradford, the University of Birmingham and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The work was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire & Humber.
The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is supporting the rollout of the eFI through its Healthy Ageing Collaborative. As a result of this work, the eFI has now been implemented by GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country and was recently recommended for use in the new GP contract for 2017/18.
The Bradford Diagnostic Virtual Ward pilot project aims to reduce patient discharge delays while waiting for a diagnostic investigation. The pilot is trialling early discharges for patients who are medically fit to leave hospital but are still awaiting a final diagnostic test. Traditionally these patients would have to remain in hospital until this test was completed.
The Bradford Diagnostic Virtual Ward enables patients to go home but have their test within the same timeframe as if they were still in hospital.
The pilot has now been running for four months and during that time 272 patients have been referred to the Bradford Diagnostic Virtual Ward with 327 tests been performed and over 700 bed days saved.
A patient survey shows that 100 per cent of patients expressed overall satisfaction with the service, 100 per cent felt ready to go home and 100 per cent said they were able to manage.
Richard Stubbs, Interim Managing Director at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, commented: “We are delighted to have won this Medipex NHS Innovation Award.
“As an Academic Health Science Network, we are committed to making it easier and quicker to implement innovations that are better for patients and deliver efficient and cost-effective treatments and services.
“Each of the nominated projects are fantastic examples of how we are working with our members to deliver service improvements for patients across the region.”
Medipex NHS Innovation Awards bring together the most innovative and exciting ideas from the region’s NHS and commercial healthcare sector.
Over 12 years, the event has established a reputation for showcasing outstanding projects and initiatives from across Yorkshire, Humber and East Midlands regions, providing a unique opportunity to put new innovations and thinking from the NHS in the spotlight.