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Health Foundation Awards

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has supported two teams selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The fifth round of the Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting 22 health care projects in the UK with the aim of improving health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

The two programmes supported by the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN are:

Self-management support intervention for older people with frailty

Lead organisation: Trust Primary Care Limited, Bradford

This project aims to test whether a self-management support intervention (SMS) helps older people living with mild frailty to self-manage their health and wellbeing, and rely less on health care resources. Volunteers will work in partnership with primary care to investigate the barriers and enablers to implementing an SMS intervention with this patient group.

Systematic, evidence-based medication reviews for older people with frailty

Lead organisation: Harrogate and Rural Districts Clinical Commissioning Group

This project aims to reduce inappropriate prescribing, medication errors and health care utilisation for older people with frailty. This will be achieved by bringing together primary care teams to undertake collaborative patient safety and quality improvement training, and supporting them to develop their own interventions based around established protocols for deprescribing.

Over the course of the programme the teams will develop their innovative ideas and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care.

Tony Jamieson, Clinical Lead Medicines Optimisation at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “Our local expertise in frailty, medicines optimisation and influencing clinical behaviours has come together in this innovative project. It is fantastic that the Health Foundation has chosen us to take this forward and I am excited to be working with the team in Harrogate and Rural District CCG. Their skills and insight will provide a great platform for putting the needs and experiences of people living with frailty at the centre of prescribing decisions.”

Christopher Ranson, Senior Pharmacist at Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group, commented: “We face a growing elderly population with an increase in the number of frail and multi-morbidity patients who have complex health needs.

“This project will support local GP practise to develop their own interventions based around established protocols for stopping medicines and embed this into normal working practice. This will help reduce the medication burden and harm while maintaining or improving quality of life for our patients.”

Sarah De Biase, Programme Manager for the Healthy Ageing Collaborative, part of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Improvement Academy, said: “With this Health Foundation funding we will be able to support the implementation and evaluation of two evidence-based interventions (medication de-prescribing and self-management support) into routine practice. Partnership working with the lead organisations will ensure the interventions are contextually appropriate and will support the sustainability and spread of the interventions going forward.”

Emma Snee, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Trust Primary Care Ltd added: “We are delighted with the award and the opportunity for partnership working and a chance to explore whether a self-management support intervention can impact on the health and well-being of people living with mild frailty.”

Beverley Slater, Director of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Improvement Academy said: “Well done to both teams.  To get two projects in one round is fabulous. The opportunity to test and embed the work we have been developing to improve the quality of care for people living with frailty over the last two years in two high-profile projects within the region is potentially game changing.”

Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation said, “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK.”

The programme will run for fifteen months and each project will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project.