Medical “Oscars” celebrate excellence in healthcare across the UK
Projects to improve survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, spot chronic lung disease and reduce pressure on A&E services, scooped three of the top prizes at The BMJ Awards 2014 last night.
Other winners included a team providing keyhole surgery training in Tanzania and a trial that could lead to universal treatment for HIV-positive babies and children in developing countries.
The 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Oxford-based researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, for his remarkable contribution towards improving health across the world.
Now in its sixth year, The BMJ Awards held in association with medical insurer MDDUS, recognise and celebrate excellence in healthcare across the UK. The categories reflect The BMJ’s values and include awards for ground-breaking research, inspirational clinical leaders and innovations to improve patient care.
Winning teams came from across the UK, including Bolton, the East Midlands, Edinburgh, Cardiff, London and Northumbria.
The Emergency Care Practitioner Scheme run by the East Midlands Ambulance Service won Primary Care Team of the Year, sponsored by MDDUS, for transforming care for older people after a fall, resulting in more patients being treated at home rather than in hospital.
Teams from North West England scooped three awards.
Bolton Council’s Public Health Team won Cancer Care Team of the Year for their Inpatient Smoking Cessation Pathway, helping patients quit the habit during a hospital stay, while a team at the Royal Bolton District Hospital won Gastroenterology Team of the Year for providing care to people with long-term alcohol misuse problems.
And in the Wirral, Alliance Boots scooped Respiratory Team of the Year for a pharmacy scheme to identify undiagnosed chronic lung disease – a huge problem in this area where death rates are 30% above the national average.
Five teams from the capital took home prizes at tonight’s awards, including the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London. Their trial treating HIV-positive babies and children in the Uganda and Zimbabwe won Research Paper of the Year.
Other London winners included Haverstock Healthcare Camden GP Consortium who scooped the award for Clinical Leadership, sponsored by FMLM and the GMC, by setting up a GP service at the front door of the Royal Free Hospital’s A&E department. More than 75% of patients arriving at A&E are now either treated by GPs or redirected to more appropriate care, allowing A&E staff to concentrate on the real emergencies.
Judges said the “strong commitment” from Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust and their Pursuing Zero by Building Sustainable Foundations for Safety project, won them Patient Safety Team of the Year, sponsored by The Health Foundation. Their project has invested more than £1 million a year to develop a culture where every member of staff focuses on the importance of providing safe, high-quality care for children.
Diabetes Team of the Year went to Kings College Hospital NHS Trust and their 3 Dimensions of Care for Diabetes project – the first in the UK to provide joined-up medical, psychological and social care for patients with diabetes.
The final winning team from London, who also work in Newcastle, was UK Endovascular TraineeS (UKETS), taking home Education Team of the Year, sponsored by Univadis. This training group uses simulators to teach the basics of safe endovascular practice (accessing the body through the blood vessels) for junior doctors using online lectures, an iPhone app and YouTube videos.
Two teams from Wales and Scotland also triumphed tonight. The Resuscitation Rapid Response Unit in Edinburgh won Emergency Medicine Team of the Year for their 24/7 on-scene resuscitation service to improve survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Such is their success that the Scottish government plans to roll it out across the country.
Innovation Team of the Year, sponsored by Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network, went to the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University for helping patients with bipolar disorder control their illness and reduce feelings of stigma.
The glittering ceremony, which took place at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel, was hosted by actor and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. Also attending was doctor and writer Ben Goldacre.
The Karen Woo Award, sponsored by Bupa, inspired by and dedicated to the life and work of the British doctor killed in Afghanistan in 2010, went to surgeons at Northumbria Healthcare, whose 10-year project “Surgical Telemonitoring in Tanzania” to provide keyhole surgery training for doctors in Tanzania has meant that patients who previously had to stay in hospital for up to 10 days can now be discharged within 48 hours – reducing infection rates and easing overcrowding on Tanzania’s hospital wards.
Finally, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by GSK, went to Oxford-based researcher, Sir Iain Chalmers, for his contribution to evidence-based medicine.
Chalmers is co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration and co-ordinator of the James Lind Initiative, a non-profit organization that "aims to identify the most important gaps in knowledge about the effects of treatments."
Fiona Godlee, BMJ Editor-in-Chief said she was delighted to have this opportunity to honour Sir Iain for his exceptional contribution towards improving health. She said: "This award is very much for achievements so far. No one expects Iain to stop any time soon. Indeed we are relying on him to carry on the fight and we hope this award will help him do that. Iain is an extraordinary person. He brings to everything he does a unique combination of persistence, diligence, bloody mindedness, and integrity. He has helped to transform the culture of medicine, and we are all, clinicians and patients alike, in his debt."