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OUH shortlisted for two HSJ Awards


Two Oxford University Hospitals initiatives have been shortlisted for the highly regarded Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2023 in November.

The Trust's approach to supporting staff with the cost of living has been shortlisted in the Staff Wellbeing Award category, and the Integrated Severe Asthma Care (ISAC) initiative is a finalist for Medicines, Pharmacy and Prescribing Initiative of the Year.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday 16 November 2023.

Cost of living support

In response to the financial pressures caused by price inflation and rising energy costs, the Trust Board approved an initial set of measures, including a £100 bonus, to support staff at a time of great anxiety and stress in March 2022.

Co-Chaired by the Chief People Officer and the Chief Finance Officer, a multidisciplinary team from across finance, workforce, Trade Unions, estates and facilities and the professions, worked quickly to deliver a range of initiatives that would deliver tangible benefits.

This team worked collaboratively with key stakeholders and colleagues to provide the support OUH staff needed with household essentials, food, transport to work, financial wellbeing and education, and managing household expenses.

Through this approach, staff had access to:

  • Free breakfasts
  • Discounted lunches
  • Wellbeing hampers, including tea, coffee, biscuits
  • Free sanitary products
  • Travel subsidy, including £250 off the cost of an annual bus pass or rail season ticket, or towards a new bicycle
  • Increased mileage rates
  • Free bicycle servicing and maintenance
  • Salary Finance
  • Financial education
  • 'Cost of Living Hub' on the intranet with help for housing, energy, and food costs

Adam Kirton, Assistant Director of Workforce – Pay, Policy & Reward at OUH, said: "Since we launched our range of cost of living benefits last year, we've seen the feedback from our staff who have really appreciated how the Trust has gone the extra mile to support them during the cost of living squeeze. 

"All of our cost of living work was a great team effort, and we couldn't have achieved what we did without support from the Trust Board and from a range of staff and external partners, so thank you to all involved in helping OUH staff during this time.

"While we never started this work with the intention of being nominated for a national award, it is great to see that our work is being highlighted as one of the best initiatives in the NHS to support staff wellbeing."

Integrated Severe Asthma Care (ISAC)

People in the Thames Valley living with severe asthma are better able to manage their condition thanks to new treatments and a more personalised approach through the ISAC.

The project allowed people with severe or uncontrolled asthma to be invited to special clinics run locally through partnership with their GPs. This provided a rapid specialist optimisation and a fast-tracked referral for new biologic medications if these were warranted. This resulted in an increase in uptake of new biologic treatments and specialist referrals.

As a result of better control of their condition, there were fewer emergency hospital admissions, generating almost £400,000 in savings to the NHS and freeing up capacity. It also led to a fall in inhaler use, bringing additional environmental benefits, and a reduction in high dose steroids which can have serious side effects.

The successes were achieved through respiratory clinicians and commissioners working together more effectively from GP practices through hospitals to severe asthma centres. They were supported by the national asthma biologics programme led by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the NHS Pathway Transformation Fund.

Ola (Aleksandra) Howell, a Senior Clinical Pharmacist, and Andrew Chadwick, a Consultant in Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, are the co-leads on this project.

Ola Howell, Senior Clinical Pharmacist, said: "Contributing to improvement in care of asthma patients across the BOB ICB has been immensely rewarding. Uncontrolled severe asthma disproportionately affects patients facing health inequalities and is a hugely unmet need."

Andrew Chadwick, a Consultant in Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, said: "We are proud that our small team continues to deliver this innovative and truly integrated service which continues changing lives and bringing clinicians from across the sector together."

Summarising the project, one of their patients said: "I've had asthma for over 50 years, but this has been an incredible service. From speaking with the pharmacist to being seen in the hospital, [it is an] excellent service that has changed my life."

OUH is one of nine finalists in each category.