Two healthcare projects that aim to improve people’s quality of life will hear later today if they have won the health ‘Oscars’ – the Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards – being held in Manchester.
Both have been devised by NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and are shortlisted in Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards.
One involves a new service for people with hearing impairment that brings care closer to home, reduces waiting times and saves the NHS money.
The other involves replacing Amiodarone, a medication for irregular heartbeats, with newer, more effective prescriptions, in a project spearheaded by pharmacists working in GP surgeries.
The new hearing service was developed after listening to the concerns of local patients who wanted shorter waiting times and services that are closer to home.
The CCG also found that whilst there has been a rising demand for Ear, Nose and Throat services, around 80% of patients needed routine appointments to help with hearing aids.
This prompted the team from West Hampshire CCG to bring together High Street providers – such as Specsavers, Scrivens and InHealth – and other community audiology services to enable patients get routine help locally.
Now, ENT teams have more time and resources for patients who need more specialised care.
Dr Sean Watters, from West Hampshire CCG, said: “This is a great example of how the NHS can work with patients and the community services. Of course, we’re delighted to be shortlisted but more importantly delighted that patients are receiving an improved service closer to their homes.”
The short-listed pharmacy team tracked the prescribing of Amiodarone to prompt a review of treatment by specialists. Amiodarone has been an effective treatment for many years but can have significant side effects.
Over the 12 month project the pharmacy team worked with the Wessex Cardiology Network and GP practices to re-assess the prescriptions of 480 patients, leading to a 33% reduction in the medication’s use.
Liz Corteville, a senior pharmacist for West Hampshire CCG said: “Over a relatively short time-span we’ve have manage to make a real difference to the quality of people’s everyday life. It’s really heartening, and we’ve had interest in the project from services elsewhere in the country.”
Dr Sean Watters, from West Hampshire CCG, believes the new scheme can save money and improve the service for patients:
IN: There’s something like age-related hearing loss…
OUT: more effectively and to better value.
DUR: 18 seconds
Totton resident Tony Goffe, an audiology patient who has benefitted from the new service:
IN: If I have problems with my hearing aid…
OUT: …It’s absolutely brilliant
DUR: 14 seconds