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NHS England visit shines light on innovation in care

This article is more than one year old.

On Friday 19 May 2023, Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust was delighted to welcome colleagues from NHS England to see first-hand some inspiring examples of our innovation in patient care.

National Director of Transformation Dr Tim Ferris, Medical Director for Transformation and Secondary Care Dr Vin Diwakar, National Clinical Director for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care Dr Adrian Hayter and Director, Virtual Wards and Community Transformation Stephanie Somerville met with Oxford University Hospitals' Chief Executive Officer Professor Meghana Pandit and members of the Trust Board.

They were joined by representatives from innovation catalyst TheHill and research and development, as well as Clinical Directors and OUH Consultants from specialties including Haematology, Oncology, Radiology, General Practice, Acute Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Emergency Department.

The visit began with the team participating in a 'QI Stand-up' meeting, where four Quality Improvement (QI) projects undertaken by multidisciplinary staff members were presented by them. This meeting showcased the regular 'QI Stand-up' meetings held fortnightly across the Trust, and the impact of QI across the organisation.

There was also an overview of TheHill, and after a brief lunch with members of the Trust Board the party divided to tour various areas on two different sites.

Dr Diwakar, Dr Hayter and Stephanie Somerville were joined by OUH Chief Operating Officer Sara Randall, Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Anny Sykes and Interim Director of Strategy Sam Shepherd for a tour of clinical areas in the John Radcliffe Hospital.

On the way, they stopped to speak to the OUH Lead for Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Research Delivery Sandie Wellman and her colleagues at a stand on Level 2 promoting the importance of taking part in clinical research.

They then met with Clinical Director of Acute Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr Sudhir Singh, and OUH Consultants Dr James Ray and Dr Dan Lasserson, for an overview of our Ambulatory Assessment Unit (AAU), recently the focus of a major BBC Panorama documentary 'The NHS Crisis: Can it be Fixed', our Emergency Department, and discussion about our 'Virtual Wards', a remote service whereby patients receive care at home, rather than in hospital, where this can be undertaken safely. 

Dr Vin Diwakar said:

"It's been really interesting to visit Oxford University Hospitals and to hear how the hospital and virtual ward teams are helping people to stay at home and avoid going to hospital, or supporting them to return to home more quickly. We've heard how these teams are working together to deliver this innovative approach, and, in so doing, making a real difference for people in their care."

On AAU, Dr Singh explained how the unit is open daily for patient referrals from the community, and how patients can come back each day if they need further care, with no need to be admitted overnight. He emphasised the importance of our Electronic Patient Record in achieving timely triage and diagnosis, and how helpful it is from an organisational point of view that our Emergency Department and Medical teams sit within the same OUH directorate.

Dr Ferris, after meeting with staff from OUH Cellular Pathology and viewing our AI developments in digital pathology, accompanied Professor Pandit and David Walliker to the Big Data Institute (BDI) to meet with Kerrie Woods, Director of Research Informatics in OUH, and Professor Jim Davies from the BDI for a presentation on the Thames Valley Secure Data Environment (SDE) being built by the Trust.

Contributing to this were Professor Bass Hassan and Professor Fergus Gleeson, who demonstrated the opportunities the SDE will present to translational research (research which quickly transforms patient care).

Dr Tim Ferris said:

"We're hugely grateful to Professor Pandit and her teams for their time and hospitality today. There's no substitute for in-depth conversations with our clinical colleagues on the ground about how we can tackle real-world issues to provide patients with the best possible care, while enabling the whole system to function smoothly."

Professor Meghana Pandit said:

"I am enormously proud of the work we do at Oxford University Hospitals - we have some exceptional staff here improving the way we care for our patients, and it is wonderful to have this opportunity to share our innovative work with colleagues from NHS England and throughout the NHS."

Pictured: NHS England visitors with OUH Board Executives