Cornwall Pharmacy Team wins prestigious NHS Patient Safety Award

31st October, 2022

"We do not come to Cornwall to stagnate” were the words of one of the South Kerrier PCN (Primary Care Network) Pharmacy Team, on hearing of their success at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022. The team received the award for Improving Safety in Medicines Management at the ceremony in Manchester.

The newly formed South Kerrier PCN Pharmacy Team have quickly pulled together in looking at innovative ways of working and improving aspects of their service, one of these being around the prescribing of DOAC (direct oral anti-coagulants).

Pharmacist, David Jenkins explained about the project and its benefits to patients and GP surgeries: “Anticoagulants are a family of drugs which help prevent strokes and treat and prevent blood clots such as deep vein thromboses. It is mainly older people who are treated with these drugs, and it is notoriously difficult for clinicians to keep the dose correct, as patients’ kidney function changes over time. Indeed, the NHS estimates that about 15% of patients in England may be on the wrong dose.

Our project allows surgeries to find all their patients on the right or wrong dose within about 15 minutes. It is one of many examples of the work which goes on quietly behind the scenes in surgeries, helping to keep patients safe. Last year we made this tool available to all surgeries in Cornwall, where is has been widely used.

Realising that it could also be used by about 8,000 surgeries in England, we made it freely available to use, accessed from an NHS site (FutureNHS).”

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards help drive improvements in culture and quality across the NHS. These awards recognise and reward the hard-working teams and individuals who, in these times of austerity, pay restraints and workforce shortages, are striving to deliver improved patient care.

Comments from the judges about the quality of entries came from Sean Lintern, Chair of the Patient Safety Congress who said: “Our judges have decided that our finalists are the crème de la crème of the NHS and why shouldn’t we celebrate those people?” Lesley Durham, President of the International Society of Rapid Response Systems added: “The quality this year was really quite phenomenal.” Of the South Kerrier Team's project specifically, the judges said: "The project was a strong one which was well presented with a patient safety focus that is already reaching national attention."

South Kerrier PCN Pharmacy Team, L to R: Ross Williams, David Jenkins, Jo Walkers, Geraint Williams

On receiving the award on behalf of the South Kerrier Team, David remarked: “It is a great honour for this work to be recognised by winning a prestigious national HSJ Patient Safety Award. It is especially pleasing that a small team’s wo

rk, developed in Cornwall, is recognised alongside the much larger organisations winning many of the awards. Modern technology means that important projects can be developed and delivered literally anywhere in the country, not just in large cities.

Although South Kerrier PCN Pharmacy Team are the formal winners, I would like to acknowledge our colleagues working at Treliske and for the Integrated Care Board, who also contributed to the project.”

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