The AHSN Network is delighted to announce that two AHSNs and two Network national programmes have been shortlisted in the HSJ Awards 2020.

Now in its 40th year, the HSJ Awards is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for healthcare. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector.

The AHSN Network has been shortlisted in the Primary Care Innovation of the Year category for its national Atrial Fibrillation programme, based on national data and with input from Eastern and Yorkshire and Humber AHSNs. AF is the most common cause of an irregular heart rhythm and the cause of 20% of strokes. Despite the serious impact, many people are unaware they have the condition and Public Health England estimates that 300,000 people in England have undiagnosed AF.

Since the national programme launched in 2016, it has helped to prevent 11,734 strokes and saved 2,933 lives.

Wessex AHSN along with Isle of Wight CCG, Isle of Wight Trust, Lighthouse Medical and Gnosco, have also been shortlisted in the Primary Care Innovation of the Year category for their project which helps speed-up skin cancer diagnosis on the Isle of Wight.

Dermicus, the app based innovation photographs and helps to diagnose skin issues, including skin cancer. It rapidly shares images of suspect skin legions between GPs and dermatologists. This is especially useful for the Isle of Wight, if the dermatologist is not physically on the island, so they are able to diagnose remotely. Find out more about the project.

Matthew Williams, primary care innovations manager at Wessex AHSN said: “It is a testament to the hard work of all the teams involved with this project that it has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. There has been enthusiasm from all areas of the health care system on the Isle of Wight to embrace and adopt this technology; to provide an improved experience for patients, and the results we have seen, prove the efforts have been worthwhile.

“The platform has received positive feedback from both patients and clinicians, and has also helped the dermatology service continue to operate during the current pandemic. To be shortlisted for this award is a credit to all involved.”

West of England AHSN is in the running for three HSJ Awards; Workforce Initiative of the Year – PReCePT: Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm Labour, submitted in partnership with Eastern AHSN.

The Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm Labour (known as PReCePT) is an AHSN Network national programme that aims to increase awareness and knowledge among maternity and neonatal staff about the use of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) as brain protection during preterm birth.

System Leadership Initiative of the Year – ReSPECT: Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment.

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The ReSPECT process is about creating a personalised recommendation for someone’s clinical care in an emergency situation where they are not able to make decisions or express their wishes. It was developed by the Resuscitation Council in partnership with patients and their families.

Clinical Leader of the Year – Anne Pullyblank, Medical Director and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon is a driving force in West of England’s AHSN Patient Safety Collaborative. Anne is a committed advocate for the use of data and research and has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals. Her energy, knowledge and passion have underpinned the success of the AHSNs Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative and the PreciSSIon (Preventing Surgical Site Infection across a region) projects which have used a quality improvement approach and achieved significant measurable improvements in patient outcomes. She also played a pivotal role in the success of the ReSPECT programme.

Natasha Swinscoe, Chief Executive of the West of England AHSN said:

“Making the final shortlist for an HSJ award is always an honour, but being shortlisted for three in the same year is fantastic, and testament to the hard work of the team at the West of England AHSN. Together our team and our members work to create the space to bring organisations together on shared ambitions, to share learning and make a genuine difference for patients.

“The two shortlisted programmes rely on a collective, system wide approach, and are testament to the strength, energy and collaborative spirit of our network. Anne, shortlisted for her clinical leadership, is one of our most energetic and dynamic natural collaborators. Anne brings intense focus and a real depth of clinical experience to our leadership team, and like the two programmes nominated alongside her, inspires confidence and respect across our local system.”

The full list of finalists for the 2020 HSJ Awards can be found here.

Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually in March 2021.