Triumph for the NHS

Despite its huge achievements in providing quality care for millions of people, the NHS frequently falls victim to negative publicity from the media that is all too quick to focus on its perceived failings. The HB awards aim to redress the balance by concentrating on the many shining examples of innovation, dedication and teamwork that are evident since the NHS transformation began in 1997.
Held on 10 December 2009 at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, the awards were presented by BBC News presenter Nicholas Owen and included categories ranging from technology, procurement and catering, to transport and security.
This year saw the Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare award, sponsored by NHS Supply Chain, go to Guys & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.
Overall, the Trust has one of the lowest mortality rates in England, with patients survival rates nearly 25 per cent better than the national average. This is attributed to an active patient safety and quality improvement programme.
In September, The Trust became one of the first in London to produce its own electricity and heat to power the hospitals. Accoring to the Trust, this saves the equivalent in carbon dioxide of around 17,000 passengers flying to New York.
For the second time in three years, Guys & St. Thomas has achieved ‘excellent’ ratings in both categories of the Care Commisions’s annual health check. Its financial performance remains one of the best anywhere in the NHS, achieving a £25.5 million surplus that will be reinvested in services and the hospital environment.

IT and Telehealth
South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust was awarded the Telehealth Award, sponsored by PageOne. As a joint venture between NHS South Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Council Community Care & Housing Department, the Orchard Medical Centre in Bristol undertook a project designed to assess the potential for using telehealth equipment in a Primary Care setting.
Patients were given monitors that prompted them to check their vital signs and answer health questions each day. The information is then automatically and securely transmitted for review by the healthcare team.
As well as helping to avoid hospital admissions and reduce some of the burden on secondary care providers, it provides a cost-effective model of care for the management chronic heart failure.
The Healthcare IT Award went to Alder Hey Childrens NHS Trust for its National Paediatric Toolkit (NPT). The toolkit is a computer-based survey system which uses a collection of animated characters, led by the charming Fabio the Frog, to capture the attention of young patients and guide them through a series of electronic questionnaires. The system has built in audio and visual impairment facilities including voice over in several languages. It also features a survey previewer, which makes setting up patient experience consultations really simple by using pre-defined templates.
The IT Innovation Award went to East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust for its Speech recognition software. The Trust has been able to reduce diagnosis times by deploying digital dictation with speech recognition technology, allowing pathologists to dictate results in real-time. As a result, histology reporting turnaround times have been cut from a week to often the same day.

Safe and energy efficient
The Sustainable Hospital Award, sponsored by Monodraught, was scooped by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Trust has signed up to the NHS Carbon Management Programme, a pledge to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent over the next five years. Helping to achieve this is a new state-of-the-art biomass boiler which has been installed at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston. The technology behind the boiler results in very little ash being produced and minimal chimney emissions other than water vapour from any dampness in the fuel.
Before installation, the hospital produced between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes of carbon a year. The new boiler should halve this, setting a high standard for eco-friendly energy sources across the UK healthcare sector.
The Hospital Building Award went to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. The £256m project brings together the existing Queen Alexandra Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and the Royal Hospital Haslar. The new site more than doubles the size of the previous hospital provision.
Special design features include antimicrobial curtains and curved skirting boards to help fight healthcare acquired infections. The development has also enabled the trust to reduce CO2 emissions by using waste heat to make steam and hot water, and features low-energy lights and tinted windows.
Moving on to security provision, the award for Hospital Security went to Mersey Care NHS Trust. Redevelopment of mental health services on the inner-city Rathbone Hospital site raised complex, conflicting security issues. The trust’s critical assets, the privacy and dignity of its patients and staff, and the clinical safety concerns presented by patients with challenging behaviour, all presented unique security needs.
The site includes two locked, low-secure units with 38 legally-detained inpatients and an open unit for 25 inpatients with longer-term needs. External security is provided by barrier access, grounds CCTV and robust building perimeters. Staff have proximity cards, and when patients go out on leave are given barrier cards. An escape-resistant security fence system allows those inside to see out while not being on show to outsiders. In addition, the windows are secure against forced entry or escape, while being able to be opened by patients without supervision.

Healthcare recruitment
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust took home the Healthcare Recruitment Award, sponsored by Hays Specialist Recruitment. In 2007 the Trust found low levels of satisfaction among managers responsible for hiring staff.
Recognising this, the Trust created a resource support team to oversee the pre-employment process, and each candidate is now given a named contact. Both managers and job applicants are said to be more satisfied with the process, and there has been a 58 per cent reduction in job vacancies and less use of temporary carers, both of which have improved patient care and saved the trust £1.4 million in recruitment costs.

Ambulance service
Wales Air Ambulance Service received the award for Air Ambulance Service of the Year, sponsored by Bond Air Services.
Wales was the last country and region in Europe to have an air ambulance service but it has since grown to become one of the busiest and fastest growing operations in the UK. From one helicopter flying limited hours each week, the organisation now operates three helicopters and provides cover across the whole of Wales. Since 2001, the aircrews have flown more than 11,500 missions throughout Wales, saving countless lives in the process.
In April 2009, Wales Air Ambulance launched its first New Generation helicopter, the EC-135. In addition to one pilot, two paramedics and one patient, the new EC-135 can also carry the parent of an injured child.
The award for Ambulance Trust of the Year went to London Ambulance Service (LAS). In 2008/09 the service responded to almost 974,000 incidents, an increase of nearly three per cent on the previous year, of which nearly 320,000 were Category A calls.
LAS was the first ambulance service to successfully implement two-way paging for community volunteers.
In a survey carried out by the Care Quality Commission, 99 per cent of respondents had trust and confidence in the staff who attended them, and 97 per cent said that they had received a good, very good or excellent level of care.    
Goods and services
The Healthcare Purchasing Consortium scooped the Hospital Procurement Award. Formed in 2001 as an executive agency of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, the Healthcare Purchasing Consortium provides procurement, supply chain, healthcare contracting and commercial services across the West Midlands and North Central London. The partnership works on behalf of more than 40 NHS Trusts who together spend £2.4 billion a year on goods and services.
Recognising excellence in catering, County Durham and Darlington Foundation NHS Trust won the hospital catering award for its Darlington Memorial Catering Department, which provides a first class catering service, with five dedicated chefs producing in excess of 20,000 meals per week. It was the first in the County to introduce organic milk for patients, staff and visitors, and it has demonstrated year-on-year improvement in both local and national surveys.
The Hospital Cleaning Award, sponsored by Proventec Healthcare, went to Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which has introduced extra cleaners and a 55 per cent increase in hours spent cleaning each week. MRSA screening has also been rolled out to all patients being admitted to the hospital.
The trust has also been praised for the cleaning and sterilisation of medical equipment, after winning a handful of prestigious contracts to provide the service to other hospitals in the region.
Raising awareness
The Act F.A.S.T. Stroke Awareness Campaign was awarded the NHS Publicity Campaign.
The campaign aims to educate healthcare professionals and the public on the signs of stroke and the importance of prompt emergency treatment. It incorporates the Face, Arms, Speech, Time test developed by the Stroke Association, and features hard-hitting imagery to highlight the visible signs of stroke
The campaign has led to a 55 per cent increase in stroke calls to emergency services and research suggests that 84 per cent of the public remember it.

Event Diary

Join us at Manchester Central on 10-11 October 2023 for Healthcare Estates, the annual event for healthcare engineering and estates and facilities professionals.
Registration, and more details about the event including the full Conference Programme and Exhibitor List can be found at: