County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating winning the Innovation Champion category, and coming second in another, at the recent 2019 Bright Ideas in Health Awards run by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria.
Ian Dove, business development manager, was named regional Innovation Champion, for being instrumental in the Trust leading the way in using digital technology for the benefit of patients. Many of the Trust’s clinical teams now use an app, HealthCall, to enhance the care and experience patients receive. It is particularly useful in enabling patients to self-monitor, from the comfort of home, or even whilst on holiday or working away. Those keen to use the app, receive training, submitting their readings for the scrutiny of a specialist nurse, with any concerns being followed up by phone or in clinic. This convenience and the opportunity to be flexible with the frequency of monitoring, is popular with increasing numbers of patients across a range of services. It also means clinics are preserved for those most in need.
Trust Chairman, Professor Paul Keane, OBE, said, “Ian had the vision not only to see the potential of using digital technology across services as diverse as falls prevention, undernutrition, and our new gestational diabetes service, he also has the drive to transform his visions into reality. Ian also instigated our ambitious and ground breaking working with care homes across County Durham and Darlington, training staff and providing them with the technology to regularly monitor residents so that even slight deterioration can be spotted early – leading to a significant reduction in emergency hospital admissions. We’re incredibly lucky to have Ian on our team and this award is much deserved.”
Commenting, Ian said, “I am immensely proud to be recognised by the AHSN for a role that is made easier by the dedication of our inspirational clinicians who strive to develop new and innovative ways to support patient care and improve outcomes.”
The Trust’s cardiac arrest prevention team took second place in the Demonstrating an Impact upon Patient Safety category, for their strategy in reducing the number of patients having a cardiac arrest whilst in hospital, by 54%.The work, led by Lisa Ward, early detection and resuscitation lead nurse, and matron Claire Stocks began seven years ago, moving away from a focus on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to one of identifying patients most at risk of having a cardiac arrest and doing everything possible to prevent that happening. Lisa, Claire and their team began this work in 2012 by taking an in depth look at all cardiac arrests to inform how best to prevent them.
Lisa said, “This analysis gave us a real understanding to allow focused education programmes in clinical areas, however, the project could not have been successful without the support of the Trust’s leadership team in us changing our approach to focus on prevention. The Trust has a culture of encouraging innovation, listening to and acting on the ideas of its staff, then taking them forward. The project’s success has also been dependent on the commitment, engagement and hard work of clinical teams across our services and it was an honour to accept the award on behalf of them all, in recognition of their dedication to constantly improving our patient’s outcomes.”