Awards recognise healthcare innovation

Good practice among allied health professionals and health scientists recognised

19th October 2020 about a 2 minute read

The overall winner of this year’s Advancing Healthcare Awards was the Wheelchair Skills Programme in Leeds which helps disabled children become more independent.

Gemma Hawtin, a physiotherapy assistant with Leeds Community Health NHS Trust, noticed that many children did not know how to use their wheelchairs independently. 

She helped set up a specialist course for children with both physical and learning disabilities which has boosted their confidence and meant they participate more. The scheme is now used by physiotherapy assistants across the city.  

High throughput sequencing

The winner of the Viapath award for innovation in healthcare science was the molecular MRD (minimal residual disease) team at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London. 

The team developed high-throughput sequencing for analysis of paediatric diagnostic leukaemia samples. Current methods sometimes fail to identify a biomarker to track.

The new method requires less toxic chemical usage as polyacrylamide is no longer needed. And it also means some patients now receive less chemotherapy and less bone marrow sampling.

The Council of Allied Health Professions Research Award for evaluating health and social care practice winner was the Rapid Response Children’s Physiotherapy Team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services. 

The team looked at the impact of a 12 month rapid response respiratory pilot for children with complex physical disabilities. 

Patient mobilisation

The Scottish Government’s award for improving quality and  measuring and demonstrating impact went to a project that developed and implemented a protocol allowing the safe mobilisation of patients on femoral intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABP).

Christina Maclean, head of rehabilitation and Fiona Nolan, cardiothoracic physiotherapy lead, were concerned that too many patients on IABP were on bed-rest for prolonged periods leading to muscle atrophy, reduced exercise tolerance and respiratory muscle function, longer post-operative recovery plus increased risk of mortality.

Mental health

The winner of the Guardian award for AHPs working with people who have mental health problems was IPRS Health’s Mental Health Self-Referral Service.

A team lead by Paul Scallan, clinical lead for occupational health, designed and launched a mental health self-referral portal to cut waiting times and where individuals felt confident to seek support. 

They could talk face-to face with a clinician in a UK-wide network or via an app using video and voice call remote cognitive behaviour therapy. 

For a full list of Advancing Healthcare award winners and highly commended entries click here