The Improvement Foundation and NHS Alliance have joined forces for the third successive year to promote innovative practice and better outcomes for patients.
The winners of the Improvement Foundation's Guy Rotherham Award were announced by Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Health, at the NHS Alliance's 10th Annual Conference in Manchester.
The St Benedict's Hospice Day Centre Project (for the Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust) won the award for its excellent multidisciplinary team (MDT) improvement of the palliative care provided.
This team demonstrated a thorough understanding of the use of quality improvement methods to improve patient care, and carefully measured the individual improvements they made.
Through the use of a referral "decision tree" non-attenders were reduced by 300% and average waiting times halved. Through a streamlined assessment and intervention process a "Clinical Distress" tool reduced assessment time and patient distress scores were reduced by 24%. This tool was also used to reduce the staff "burn out" scores of professionals and volunteers by an average of 67%.
By working more effectively and efficiently as a team and changing their working practices, but without reducing services which would have impacted negatively on patients, the Hospice Project team saved an average of £5 per patient attendance and further, increased access and attendances by 13%.
Ruth Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Improvement Foundation said: "The Guy Rotherham Award mirrors our vision for achieving high-quality healthcare and is a great opportunity to acknowledge the exceptional improvements that organisations and individuals are making across a range of services in primary and community care.
"The standard of applications this year was outstanding but the winning and highly commended entries stood out due to their high impact improvement outcomes. We want to congratulate all three teams for their innovation and effort, and believe them to be fantastic cases of how a quality improvement approach can result in better outcomes for patients."