East of England Ambulance Service pioneering initiative scoops major award

Friday, 24 September, 2010

Matt Broad (left) and BBC News correspondent Huw Edwards (centre) with Dr Linda Pearce (second right) and her team from West Suffolk Hospital.

The East of England Ambulance Service are proud to announce they have won a prestigious innovations award for preventing unnecessary hospital admissions by providing respiratory patients with specially targeted care in their own homes across Suffolk.

On Wednesday, September 22, the trust attended the 2010 Innovation Competition organised by Health Enterprise East (HEE), the NHS Innovation Hub for the East of England. The evening was held at held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. The COPD admissions avoidance scheme has been recently introduced to ensure that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are quickly given access to care in the most appropriate place to meet their needs.

The trust is working in partnership with their colleagues from Suffolk COPD Services. It has seen the two organisations develop new care pathways so that, where appropriate, ambulance clinicians answering 999 calls now refer patients to colleagues within the COPD service, who will provide expert care in the person's own home.

Dr Anne Blackwood, HEE Chief Executive, said: "This is our sixth Annual Innovation Competition and we have been extremely impressed by the number and creativity of the entries we have received across the five categories. "This year we have three new ones - Patient Safety, Moving Care Closer to Home and Tackling Inequalities - reflecting current healthcare priorities which have attracted a wide range of innovations to meet these particular challenges."

One of the trusts clinical operations managers, Matt Broad for West Suffolk said close partnership working had been key in getting this initiative off the ground. On receiving the Moving Care Closer to Home award, clinical operations manager for West Suffolk Matt Broad said: "We have been working very closely with our colleagues at Suffolk COPD Services to bring forward this innovative project, and are delighted that patients are now benefiting as a result. To win this award is very special and I must thank my colleagues for all their help and support getting this initiative up and running."

"The new service uses the assessment skills of ambulance staff to identify patients who have called 999 but are suitable for treatment from a specialist nurse in their own home. As well as helping reduce needless admissions into Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals, this also brings benefits to patients by ensuring they are treated in the most appropriate setting to meet their needs."

The trusts Medical Director Pam Crispin said: "I am thrilled that the West Suffolk team have won this award. It is a remarkable example of partner organisations working together to deliver great patient care. I know it has been tremendously hard work to put together and implement, and I would like to thank Matt Broad and his team for their efforts. It would be good to see this model rolled out across other parts of the region, and indeed nationally."

Return to news menu