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KGH team wins prestigious HSJ Award

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Kettering General Hospital has won a prestigious national HSJ (Health Service Journal) Award for the way it collects and records data about patients to support clinical care.

The award was announced on September 4, 2020, and was one of five KGH initiatives which had reached the finals of the HSJ Awards in a number of different categories.

KGH entered its Clinical Coding Transformation Programme in the Operations and Performance category of the awards under the title - Getting it right for our patients, staff and the Trust. The team are pictured before the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing and are now mostly working from home.

Clinical coding is the translation of clinical information on patient records into a series of codes.

This is very important for NHS Trusts because these codes form the bedrock of the data we hold on the patients we have treated and the care they needed. It enables the hospital to get paid appropriately for the work it does and enables it to invest in the right services in the future.

Kettering General Hospital’s Head of Digital Programme Natasha Chare, said: “We entered the HSJ Award in order to recognise the tremendous amount of work our clinical coding team carried out during 2019 to transform our coding service.

“Every patient interaction we have has a clinical code attached to it and it is important we record this accurately so we can understand the demands on our Trust – helping us to provide appropriate services for our patients both now and in the future.

“Our coding team were at the forefront of the changes as they understood the challenges they face on a daily basis and there has been a renewed focus on working with clinical colleagues – such as doctors and nurses - to improve the accuracy of our coding.

“We have also looked at developing greater depth in coding – which involves ensuring all appropriate underlying health conditions have been captured.

“In addition we have worked hard to create a great environment for our coding team with enhanced training and support to enable them to do their best job every day.

“It has been an honour to work with this team over the past year and this award is a testament to all of their hard work.”

Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer, Ian Roddis, said: “I want to congratulate all of our clinical coding team, and our transformation team who supported them, for their tremendous efforts in improving something which goes on behind the scenes at hospitals and is generally not well understood by the general public.

“Having great clinical coding is an important part of the running of an acute hospital Trust like Kettering General Hospital, helping us to support clinical care into the future.”

The other four KGH teams that were shortlisted for HSJ Awards finals (but which were unsuccessful in winning) were:

Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year

We established a new antibiotic clinic for diabetes patients with infected foot ulcers – a serious condition which can lead to amputation.

A KGH team led by Antimicrobial Pharmacist, Naomi Fleming, and Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist, Paula Grannon, clinically supervised by Consultant Diabetologist, Michael Pierides, developed this patient-centred service.

It is an expansion of an existing service because it comes in addition to regular multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinics.

The new service involves patients using specialist antibiotic 24 hour IV infusion devices at home to deliver antibiotics that would be required three or four times a day – avoiding the need for hospital admission.  This technology is not commonly used.

The service saw 131 patients over 23 months and avoided 89 admissions saving £389,000.

Patients benefitted from extra clinic appointments and healing rates went up from 11% to 22% over 12 weeks. Also 94% of users have said they are extremely likely to recommend the service to family and friends.

Service users said

“I can’t speak highly enough about everybody involved in my treatment. The care was first class and everyone was so nice to me during a time of worry.

“The 24 hour infusion gives you back a manageable life – it frees up everybody’s valuable time.”

‘With the pump, my life isn’t disrupted. I am still able to work full-time. It gives me the freedom that other alternatives wouldn’t give me.”

“Felt well cared for over 8 months both with antibiotic and treatment”.

Acute Service Redesign Initiative

Our Urology Team and Transformation Team were shortlisted for the way they developed new one-stop urology service.

The Patient One Stop was, established in October 2019, and provides better care and shorter waits for patients along with faster diagnosis and quicker access to the right treatment.

It works by teams testing, diagnosing and giving individual treatment plan all in the same hospital visit.

The number of people receiving a package of tests and care in one attendance and then being discharged has improved from 4% to 50%.

This one-stop model is being tested at both KGH and NGH, with the two trusts working closely together through Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership to develop standardised processes ensuring patients throughout the county can access the same high-quality care.

By providing tests, results and a consultation in a single hospital visit we can diagnose and treat conditions faster, resulting in better outcomes for our patients and helping us to manage increasing demand in a sustainable and co-ordinated way.

Service users said:

‘The One-stop was very well organised and managed. It’s brilliant – I haven’t had weeks of worry- and being on a Saturday it means I haven’t lost any time at work’

‘Great atmosphere-so much better to have everything on the day – it puts your mind at peace’

‘Really appreciated having the time to explain my concerns and felt I was listened to. Very friendly staff and I was put at ease.’

Respiratory Care Initiative of the Year

KGH’s Thoracoscopy Team were shortlisted for a day case service for respiratory patients which reduced the need for hospital admission.

The service is called day case thoracoscopy with pluerodesis – a treatment which helps to reduce the build-up of fluid outside of the lungs.

By developing the service as a day case we have been able to schedule these procedures in ways that have eliminated uncertainty for patients in the sense of their routine procedure being rearranged because of pressure on hospital beds.

Admissions to hospital have been reduced by 90% and the patient feedback is overwhelmingly positive. A cost analysis has shown that that there is a £470 saving per patient for the local healthcare economy.

This is a very efficient service with motivated and committed staff proud of the service they are offering.

Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Award

A KGH multi-disciplinary team approach to reducing medicines wastage for rheumatology patients was shortlisted for an award.

The initiative was carried out between pharmacy, rheumatology and commissioners to ensure patients with rheumatoid arthritis got the right high cost drugs for their specific conditions.

The team was made up of consultants, specialist nurses, therapists and pharmacists, and used national Get It Right First Time national methodology to redesign treatment pathways.

The aim was to reduce waste and promote individualised patient care.