PHA Regional Quality Awards highlight innovation and excellence in health and social care

PHA Regional Quality Awards highlight innovation and excellence in health and social care

The first Regional Quality Awards, established to recognise the outstanding achievement of staff working to improve quality or safety in health and social care, have been announced by the PHA’s HSC Safety Forum at an Improvement Network, NI (INNI) event at 1.30pm, Tuesday 17 November in Riddell Hall, Stranmillis, Belfast.

Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer, DHSSPSNI said: “I would like to congratulate all the entrants and winners of the first Regional Quality Awards. The interest shown in the awards reflects the commitment of individuals, teams and organisations across the HSC to deliver on quality, safety and patient experience. The winners demonstrate the leadership required to take forward the DHSSPS’ Quality 2020 strategy and we will build on and encourage these achievements.”

Gavin Lavery, HSC Safety Forum, PHA said: “We received submissions from 30 teams across the HSC of whom 11 were interviewed.  Awards were made for Innovation in Care, Integrated care, Reliable care, and Teamwork. The overall Regional Winner, Dr Stephanie Bolton and her Western Trust colleagues were chosen for their outstanding work in reducing referral times for potential transplant patients. Their achievement demonstrates what can be achieved with support, commitment and a structured approach to Improvement. We congratulate Dr Bolton and her team, the category winners and all those who submitted their work to improve our systems of care.” 

All awards took the form of a small cut glass trophy and the overall award winner is also given an educational grant to support further training or a visit to a centre of excellence.

The Public Health Agency, through the HSC Safety Forum, has a regional role to provide leadership in quality improvement and patient safety across all elements of Health and Social care. This includes the implementation of the DHSSPS’s Quality 2020 strategy. The role is taken forward by activities such as regional improvement collaboratives, commissioning of training and funding of individuals to access specialist training in Quality Improvement.

Details of the awards and winners are:

Regional Winner (also winner of the integrated care category):
Dr Stephanie Bolton, Consultant Nephrologist, Renal Unit, Altnagelvin, Western HSCT 
Title: Reduction in transplant referral times
Reduction in time to decision on referral to a transplant surgeon from 82 to 18 weeks, with evidence of improved shared-care decision making and team working and positive patient feedback.

Innovation in Care Winner:
David Hamilton, Senior Social Worker, Ballynahinch Office, Grove House, South Eastern HSCT
Title: Promoting meaningful engagement of Looked After Children in LAC reviews
The project used the Mind of My Own (MOMO) app to improve the engagement of young people in expressing their views as part of the Looked After Children (LAC) Review process. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the young people, while social workers appreciated the creative approach. The app is being rolled out across the Trust.

Reliable Care Winner:
Caroline Keown, Interim Head of Midwifery & Gynaecology, Antrim Area Hospital, Northern HSCT 
Title: Reduction in surgical site infection 
The project achieved a reduction of surgical site infection following Caesarean Section within Antrim Hospital from 18% (2012) to 4% (2014) due to engagement and education between service users and clinical teams and improved clinical practice within the theatre environment

Teamwork category 
Dr Angela Knox, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Glaucoma Service, Shankill Wellbeing & Treatment Centre, Belfast HSC Trust
Title: The Belfast Glaucoma Service
Over 7 months new patient glaucoma waiting time reduced from 36 weeks to less than 12 weeks using innovation and collaboration to modernise glaucoma care. The Glaucoma Clinic moved to a primary care setting, tripled capacity, took on 100s of review patients from other clinics and set up a Glaucoma Support Group for users.

Notes to the editor

1. The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Public Health Agency (PHA) Annual Quality Report 2014/2015 was published on Tuesday 12 November to mark World Quality Day. Annual Quality Reports are a recommendation of Quality 2020: a 10 year strategy to protect and improve quality in Health and Social Care in NI (DHSSPS).

2. The HSC Safety Forum was created in 2007 to support HSC organisations as they strive to provide safe, high quality care. The HSC Safety Forum:
• works collaboratively with stakeholders to assist the drive for improvement in safety and quality in Health and Social Care;
• helps service providers build and develop their quality improvement capability in line with internationally recognised theory and practice;
• facilitates engagement between patients, clients, commissioners and service providers in order to promote safety and quality
3. For information on the Quality 2020 strategy see: