Take a look at last year’s winners to help you put together a winning entry

2009 Winner Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

In a busy medical unit handling around 800 admissions a month, errors of omission - such as not prescribing oxygen where indicated or failing to stick to thromboprophylaxis policy - are a real cause for concern and can have profound consequences.

Salford’s reliability checklist, a bottom-up initiative praised by the judges for its excellent outcomes, reduces healthcare associated harm by introducing nine key tasks that must be documented during the patient’s first consultant ward round.

“It’s safeguarding if you like,” says Sara Furness, consultant in acute medicine. “A more organised approach to the work we were already doing in a manner that upholds medical autonomy.”

As a registrar, Dr Furness was among the team of junior doctors leading the project to develop and test the checklist. She used abstract material from an international poster presentation to complete the online entry.

“Once shortlisted we took the advice of a previous HSJ Award winning colleague,” says Dr Furness. “In our presentation to the judging panel we included

a recording of a patient describing how it felt to be told that her heart attack of three months ago hadn’t been diagnosed because a test had been overlooked.”

Winning an HSJ Award has helped this small department housing a newly recognised specialty cement its reputation within the hospital and beyond.

Dr Furness says: “With other trusts approaching us it’s been great for networking, opening conversations with organisations about what we have achieved and equally about the innovation they are involved in.”

What judges want

Submissions can demonstrate evidence of supporting and promoting innovation in primary care or acute care, or both.

  • Excellence in implementation of policy and guidance
  • Improved patient outcomes and services
  • Improved access: not only reduced waiting times, but also access to appropriate therapies and practitioners
  • Improvements in the health of part of the local population, such as by targeting those with the greatest health needs
  • Working to meet public service agreement targets

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