Five initiatives from the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) have been
shortlisted for prestigious national awards. The Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards
recognise outstanding contributions to healthcare, with the ethos of sharing best practice,
improving patient outcomes and innovating better services.
The Unscheduled Care Coordination Hub has been shortlisted in the Provider Collaboration
of the Year category. The Hub assesses patients who have called 999 so that, where
appropriate, prompt treatment and support is provided at home rather than in hospital. The
service, which was set up last winter, is a partnership between Leicester, Leicestershire and
Rutland ICB, DHU HealthCare, Leicestershire Partnership Trust and Leicester Leicestershire
and Rutland Social Care Services.
The second service to be shortlisted is another example of the “home first” approach to
delivering care, which means looking for ways that patients can be treated and cared for in
their own home and only being admitted to hospital when they really need to. The Atrial
Fibrillation Virtual Ward is for patients with irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation) and fast heart
rates, and uses remote monitoring technology to enable patients to manage their condition at
home with support from clinical teams. Not only does this free up hospital beds but it is also
more convenient for patients, who have been extremely positive about the benefits of staying
in their own home, they find the technology is very simple to use and they like the
reassurance that their health is being monitored by clinicians, so that they can receive timely
support if necessary. The Atrial Fibrillation Virtual Ward has been shortlisted in two
categories: Acute Sector Innovation of the Year and Driving Efficiency Through Technology.
The Chronic Kidney Disease Integrated Care Delivery Project is shortlisted for Medicines,
Pharmacy and Prescribing Initiative of the Year. This initiative has led to improvements in
care for adults with kidney disease, ensuring that they have the right tests and are prescribed
the most appropriate medicines by their local GP practice, without having to visit a hospital
clinic. An example of this is a group of medicines called SGLT2 inhibitors, which have been
proven to protect the kidneys and reduce people’s chances of needing dialysis. They also
protect the heart too, making strokes and heart attacks less likely.
Shortlisted in the Modernising Diagnostics Award, Cytosponge™ is a new test that can
identify Barrett’s Oesophagus, a risk factor for oesophageal cancer. This test is less invasive
for patients than endoscopy and has also meant shorter waits for patients to be tested,
leading to more timely diagnosis and care. The original pilot project has been so successful
that the service is now being expanded to allow referrals directly from GPs.
Finally, the Take AIR Inhaler Recycling Scheme, shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Award,
enables patients to dispose of and recycle their empty, unwanted or out-of-date inhalers
through the post. To date, the scheme has had approximately 52,000 inhalers returned, which
equates to a saving of around 305 tonnes of C02 equivalent from escaping into the
Andy Williams, Chief Executive of the LLR ICB, said: “I am so proud of our colleagues across
the NHS and wider partners including the local authorities, for what they have achieved, and it
really is great to see our collaborative work and commitment to improving patient care is
“It’s important to remember that the HSJ Awards are not just a celebration of success stories
but also a platform to shape the future of the NHS and improve services for our patients.
These initiatives are all part of our five-year plan to strengthen the integration between our
services and ensure patients are treated in the right place, at the right time.”
The winners will be announced at the HSJ Awards Ceremony in London on Thursday 16