An initiative bringing together the Oxford Academic Health & Science Network (AHSN), NHS and industry to improve patient care has won a national prize.
The collaboration with Roche Diagnostics to introduce a new test for pre-eclampsia into maternity units was the winner of the ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership’ category of the HSJ Partnership Awards.
The judges said: “This project showed high levels of innovation and sophistication. This evidence-based project delivered demonstrable improvements in patient experience.”
The test predicts with much greater accuracy whether a pregnant woman will develop pre-eclampsia within the following seven days. It rules out women who will not develop pre-eclampsia so that they do not have to undergo the worry and inconvenience of an unnecessary hospital stay. It also means that resources can be focused more effectively on the women who really need them.
The test was trialled at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) where it has now been introduced as standard. The Oxford AHSN is overseeing its introduction into other hospitals. It measures the ratio of two placental factors – maternal serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor (PlGF) – that are released into the mother’s blood.
Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of the Oxford AHSN, said: “We are delighted that the judges saw how this approach is making a real difference to the lives of many pregnant women. More accurate diagnosis brings many benefits – it reduces the need for admission as well as indicating those women who need closer monitoring. This is a powerful example of improved diagnostics leading to improved clinical care pathways.”
Chris Hudson, Director of Access and Innovation, Roche Diagnostics, said: “Working in partnership with the Oxford AHSN meant the right stakeholders were brought together with a clear plan developed to accelerate the adoption of this innovation. We believe in working with partners in the NHS to transform healthcare and innovations like this can help women receive the right level of care at the right time, which in turn can improve patient safety.”
Dr Manu Vatish, Consultant Obstetrician at OUH and Senior Clinical Fellow with the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, said: “Almost 70 per cent of patients admitted don’t actually have pre-eclampsia. Using the new test together with standard clinical practice, this figure rises to 100 per cent.
“This approach allows us effectively to segregate patients into those who have virtually no risk of getting the disease and those with an increased risk. This test improves our diagnostic accuracy and is a welcome step forward.”
Tim James, OUH Head Biomedical Scientist, said: “The beauty of these tests is that they are not reliant on analysers only available in Oxford. The instruments are available at many hospitals, meaning the benefits can be expanded across the UK relatively rapidly and easily, and pregnant women everywhere should be able to benefit.”
Read more here.
A second Oxford AHSN collaboration was also a finalist in the HSJ Partnership Awards. The work with Bayer and Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group to cut the risk of stroke was shortlisted in the ‘Best Pharmaceutical Partnership with the NHS’ category. Read more here.
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “The HSJ Partnership Awards highlights the invaluable work performed by the organisations that work alongside the NHS to deliver first class patient care, delivering tangible benefits to NHS patients, clinicians and the facilities they use, making a real difference in these challenging economic times.”