Teams from across the Service successful at HSJ Patient Safety Awards
In a reflection of the ground-breaking work taking place across our Service, two of our teams won awards at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards on Tuesday (10 November) and another was Highly Commended.
The Awards, which are well respected across the NHS, health and care sectors, recognise the very best achievements and innovations driving the national patient safety agenda.
Following an intensive judging process, our Mental Health team won the Mental Health Initiative of the Year Award for the Mental Health Joint Response Car (MHJRC) pilot and our End of Life Care team won the End of Life Care Award for their collaboration with charity Macmillan Cancer Support in developing the End of Life Care Coordinator network.
The MHJRC initiative sees a paramedic and mental health nurse respond together so we can treat patients for both their physical and mental health needs.
Six cars operate across London, and the initiative has made a significant impact on the number of unnecessary trips to emergency departments for patients with a mental health problem.
Emergency departments are rarely the best place for people suffering mental ill-health. An evaluation found that 80% of patients were discharged at the scene with a more suitable referral or advice for their condition, compared to 41% of patients outside of the scheme.
The judges said they were “inspired by the partnership spirit evident throughout” the MHJRC initiative, which they considered “a fantastic innovation demonstrating how working at a system wide level can have a truly significant impact on patients enabling them to stay safely within their own homes” and that it showed “all of the values that the NHS stands for”.
Commenting on the success of the End of Life Care team and Macmillan collaboration, judges recognised how this was a “very ambitious project” which resulted in ‘positive’ and ‘true’ cultural change to end of life care across a wide area.
Our End of Life Care team – funded by Macmillan, are training our staff and volunteers about end of life and palliative care to ensure patients with long term and incurable (but treatable) conditions get care that meets their needs but also respects their wishes. A key aspect of this has been training a number of our colleagues to become End of Life Care Coordinators so the training can be passed on to more staff and volunteers across stations and control rooms.
Our Maternity team were also Highly Commended in the Maternity and Midwifery Services Initiative Award for their incredible work in increasing maternity training across the Trust. Judges shared that this innovative project focused on a key but often forgotten area of safety for women, and were “thrilled to see the world of ‘pre-hospital obstetrics’ become safer.
Our Specialist Falls Service team were also shortlisted for the Urgent and Trauma Care Safety Initiative Award and we were shortlisted for the Deteriorating Patients and Rapid Response Systems Award for our trial of the Abbott i-STAT venous blood gas analyser in enhancing patient care.
London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson said:
“I am so proud of all our teams who were shortlisted for this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards, and am delighted that we picked up two awards and were highly commended in another.
“It has been such an exceptional year for all of our staff and volunteers, and this result is a testament to how hard they have been working to ensure Londoners receive the very best care possible.
“Initiatives like these are instrumental in helping us provide outstanding care, by ensuring patients aren’t taken to hospital unnecessarily, and are signposted to more appropriate pathways and given care closer to home where possible.
“Congratulations to all the nominees who have been shortlisted this year, it is great to be recognised alongside many other outstanding contributions to healthcare”.
The full list of winners and those shortlisted for the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards can be found here.