NICE Shared Learning Award 2007
A buddy scheme run by North East Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) for people with pulmonary disease and an abnormal uterine bleeding service run by Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT were joint winners of the NICE Shared Learning Award 2007. The judges of the award described them as exemplary projects. Both, they said, demonstrated how NICE guidance can be used to improve healthcare in the local community.
The awards were presented to Pamela Hancock of North East Lincolnshire PCT and Anne Connolly of Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT at the NICE 2007 conference, ‘Evidence into practice'. They also received £1000 each to help support their respective projects.
Twelve projects were shortlisted from over 70 entries for the award and these were presented as posters in the exhibition hall at the conference. Four made it through to the final and three presented their work to a panel of judges in a mini-plenary session at the conference.
Joint winner presentations
During the mini-plenary session, Pamela Hancock highlighted the importance of patient involvement in improving care, as she described North East Lincolnshire PCT's buddy scheme for people on a pulmonary disease rehabilitation programme. The programme, she said, had led to big improvements in the physical and emotional wellbeing of the 31 people who had completed the course.
The group's mobility improved dramatically in endurance shuttle walk tests: their average walking time increased from 3 to 23 minutes after the programme - and the average distance walked went from198 to 779 metres, she explained. Hospital admissions and attendance at A&E fell (from 24 to 1 day and 35 to 2 visits respectively), while their need for bed rest days decreased from 120 to 6 days.
Quality of life questionnaire results also showed a significant improvement.
Equally important, the programme had led to substantial cost savings for the NHS (£2618.47 for each patient completing the course).
The scheme was developed with patient groups, in line with NICE guidance (‘Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease' NICE clinical guideline 16).The idea was that specially trained patient volunteers who had attended a COPD rehabilitation programme could work closely with those new to the scheme, giving them encouragement, advice and support.
In her presentation to delegates, Anne Connolly described how recommendations from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and NICE (‘Heavy menstrual bleeding' NICE clinical guideline 44 ) were used to create a ‘one stop shop' for women experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding.
Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT's service comprises two outpatient clinics, one led by primary care nurse consultants and the other by a hospital consultant. As she explained, it is dependent for its success on good communications between primary and secondary care. The primary care clinic treats less severe cases, offering conservative medical management and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems. The hospital clinic provides an open-access hysteroscopy service offering both diagnosis and treatment.
Since April 2004, the number of patients seen per week has increased from 8 to 16 and waiting times have been reduced to 4-5 weeks. The number of patients receiving conservative medical management or a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system has increased, while the number referred for a major hysterectomy has decreased.
Not surprisingly, the new service is getting excellent ‘patient satisfaction' ratings. A patient focus group found that most patients rated their care highly. They said they felt in control and were fully informed at each stage. They also said that they appreciated the quiet environment of the clinic and the friendly, supportive care they received.
The other two finalists were projects from the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MSS) and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.
MSS is in the process of developing an audit tool to evaluate MS services against NICE guidance (‘Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care' NICE clinical guideline 8). Development has been ongoing for several years (it was first launched in 2004) and the tool has been tested in seven pilot sites. It has since been modified and in 2007, was relaunched to take into account NHS service reconfigurations and the quality requirements of the ‘National service framework for long-term conditions'. New pilot sites are planned for 2007.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Doing Well programme aims to improve the quality of care for people with depression and, at the same time reduce the number of antidepressant prescriptions issued. It comprises a GP assessment system to monitor their response to treatment, supported by a system of electronic referrals between primary and secondary care. At the time of its launch, the Doing Well programme also ran a successful public involvement programme to raise awareness of depression and its associated problems.
The cost of antidepressants prescribed has halved for those on the programme (from an average £18 to £9 a month). Client satisfaction ratings are also high (with an average score of 28/32 in the client satisfaction questionnaire).
Shared Learning Award Scheme
The Shared Learning Award was launched in December 2006 to give NICE an opportunity to celebrate some of the best submissions to its shared learning database. As its name suggests, the database gives organisations the opportunity to share information and learn from each other's experiences of implementing NICE guidance. NICE is now welcoming submissions for the 2008 award.
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010