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OUH teams shortlisted for prestigious awards

18/04/2019

Two teams from Oxford University Hospitals are in the running for awards at 2019's prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards.

The Translational Gastroenterology Team has been shortlisted in the 'Digital Innovation Team' category, and the Oxford Sepsis Strategy has been named as a finalist in the 'Innovation in Quality Improvement Team' section.

Winners will be announced at the BMJ Awards ceremony on Wednesday 24 April 2019. The healthcare awards recognise the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams in the NHS and private practice.

The Translational Gastroenterology Team, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, was nominated for their award after developing a remote monitoring system called TrueColours Ulcerative Colitis. This programme lets patients input their symptoms, with the information fed back in real time to the hospital.

Ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, features an unpredictable relapsing and remitting patterns with flare-ups of the illness impacting patients' quality of life.

To help support patients, and improve communication with their physicians, the team introduced the monitoring system, which sends email prompts to patients' smartphones, tablets or computers daily or weekly. The emails prompt them to take a 15-second questionnaire about symptoms, quality of life and medication use. Other information, such as diet, sleep and stress levels, can also be included.

This enables clinicians to chart how patients are responding to medicine, and allows changes to treatment to be made quickly if needed.

Alissa Walsh, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Trust, said: "TrueColours is now being used as standard of care within our IBD service.

"It has provided a real opportunity to create a partnership between the patient and clinicians with the aim of improving quality of care, and recording outcomes accurately.

"Feedback from patients has been encouraging with an overarching theme of empowerment.

"Our next goal is to use TrueColours to streamline the outpatient service, enabling patients to be seen at the appropriate time."

The tool has been adapted for Crohn's disease, and there are currently 500 patients in total using the system.

Meanwhile, the Trust's Sepsis Strategy has been nominated for the 'Innovation in Quality Improvement Team' honour. The Sepsis Working Group, established in 2015, aims to drive quality improvement around the management of patients with sepsis.

The working group has overseen a number of initiatives to improve sepsis care, including producing guidelines, improving sepsis coding, and working with the Trust's Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and Information teams to develop bespoke electronic sepsis screening and reporting tools.

The electronic reporting system can be used to identify and monitor delays in the sepsis pathway, such as between prescription and delivery of an antibiotic.

Other improvements include a YouTube awareness film, improved patient information leaflets and the development of a regional sepsis support group.

Overall, this has resulted in significant improvements in the management of patients with sepsis. For example, the proportion of patients receiving antibiotics within one hour increased from 36 percent in May 2016 to 70 percent in the final quarter of 2018.

Andrew Brent, Clinical Lead for Infectious Diseases and Sepsis at the Trust, said: "We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a BMJ Award, which is a tribute to the ongoing hard work of a great many people, including the clinicians caring for these patients.

"Whether we are chosen or not, I hope this helps give further momentum to our work to optimise the management of patients with severe infections."

A total of 78 teams from across the UK have made it to the final judging stages for The BMJ Awards 2019.

This year's awards attracted 291 entries across 14 categories, which for the first time included care of the older person, digital innovation, and prevention and lifestyle.

The awards highlight positive patient outcomes, and showcase the very best healthcare by recognising and celebrating the exceptional work done by doctors and their teams across the UK - including at OUH.

Kamran Abbasi, Executive Editor of the BMJ and one of the award judges, said: "It's great to see such tremendous effort from clinical teams around the UK to improve the quality of services and patient care.

"These are tough times in the NHS but the enormous dedication of staff is reflected in the impressive entries for this year's BMJ Awards.

"We always have a tough time choosing which entries to shortlist and this year was as difficult as ever."