NNUH shortlist in innovation awards

Two innovations by staff from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been shortlisted by Health Enterprise East (HEE) for their 2012 innovation awards.

Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr Frankie Swords  put forward a submission in the Service Innovation Category looking at the way all new referrals are processed. Previously, it could take weeks for patients referred by their GP with suspected endocrine conditions to receive their test results, final diagnosis and start treatment.

Dr Swords said “We felt that by standardising our processes, and turning our tests on their heads – so they are done before the patient comes to clinic not afterwards – the whole patient pathway could be improved”. The result is that now all new referrals are now processed and vetted in a standardised way, with most patients completing all tests before attending their first appointment at the hospital. This allows consultants to focus on talking to the patients, and performing a thorough clinical assessment during their first appointment at the hospital. It also enables consultants to explain the results and diagnosis to patients.

Dr Swords' idea was submitted along with Sondra Gorick senior endocrine specialist nurse and admin manager Catherine Beales.

Melanie Daynes, Specialist Lymphoedema Nurse and Carrie Wingfield, Nurse Consultant in Dermatology also submitted an entry in the Service Innovation Category to provide a dedicated pathway for patients at risk of developing swelling of the limbs (Chronic Oedema/Lymphoedema). The service is linked to patients who have been diagnosed with certain types of skin cancer where the side effects of treatment may put them at risk of developing this condition. Patients are assessed before cancer treatment so that the earliest possible signs of swelling can be reported and treatment given quickly.

Carrie Wingield, Nurse Consultant in Dermatology, said: “There are limited services of this type specifically for skin cancer patients and we are the first to offer an early diagnostic service to this group. This service is also available to patients who’ve previously been diagnosed with lower leg cellulitis or infection. Patients who are seen in the dermatology cellulitis clinic will automatically be seen and assessed in the chronic oedema clinic for further advice and treatment. This is again a service unique to this area in a hospital setting and has the potential to reduce the patient’s risk of further infection and swelling to the legs. Both patient groups benefit from early intervention, a service tailored to their needs and effective discharge back to the community.”

The winners will be announced at a special Awards Dinner being held at the The Nucleus, Chesterford Science Park on 10th October 2012.

For more information about the HEE Awards visit http://www.hee.org.uk/index.php/nhs-support/innovations-comp-2012/

Tuesday 9th of October 2012 11:00:45 AM