Nhs_choices Bthft Bradford Teaching HospitalsNHS Foundation Trust NHS Choices
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Two innovative and ambitious Bradford hospitals’ projects have been shortlisted for major national awards.

The Diagnostic Virtual Ward project, based at Bradford Royal Infirmary has been shortlisted for the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards, while the Elderly Care Virtual Ward project, based at St Luke’s Hospital, has been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards.

Both hospitals are part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Medipex awards have established a reputation for showcasing outstanding projects and initiatives from across Yorkshire, Humber and East Midland regions, while the HSJ awards demonstrate nationally outstanding practice and cutting-edge innovations.

The Diagnostic Virtual Ward project, implemented in September 2016, is having a significant impact on the number of inpatient bed days saved. With the referral of its first patient, six bed days alone were saved and to date there have been 805 bed days saved.

The innovative project was the idea of Consultant, Alex Brown, and was implemented by Dr Brown together with Clinical Leadership Fellow, Dr Stefan Williams and their team.

Dr Williams said: “Some patients come to the end of their stay in hospital but are waiting for one final test which could delay them from going home. They don’t need to be in hospital but if they are discharged without having had that final test, then they would normally go on a waiting list to return to hospital as an outpatient which can take as much as six weeks.

Diagnostic Virtual Ward the perfect solution

“The Diagnostic Virtual Ward is the perfect solution because when the patient is well enough to go home, they can be discharged but come back to have that final test on an ‘inpatient timescale.’ It’s as if they have remained in hospital but in fact they have been able to be at home.”

The Elderly Care Virtual Ward is aimed at simultaneously moving care closer to home, whilst enabling more patient-centred care.

It was developed jointly by the Trust along with NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Bradford Council’s Adult Services.

It provides a single point of access for GPs, staff in the community and other health and social care professionals to refer patients from the Bradford district into all intermediate care. This includes short-term hospital beds and services that give patients support to stay in their own homes, rather than being admitted to hospital.

It is run by health and social care staff who will have an overview of capacity across the district.

The best place to care for them

Lead Consultant Geriatrician and Director of Elderly Care, Maj Pushpangadan said: “Research tells us that when it comes to treating older people, the best place to care for them is in the comfort of their own homes.

“This new hub represents an exciting development in elderly care as it brings together health and social care professionals from across the district in one centre, all working together for the benefit of our patients, with the overall aim of providing a co-ordinated, personalised service which prevents needless emergency admissions to our hospitals. This leaves more of our beds available for those most critically ill.”

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Professor Clive Kay said: “The double shortlisting is great news and it is fantastic for our work to be recognised in this way. I would like to pass on my congratulations to all those involved in these two ground-breaking projects and wish them all the very best of luck for the final judging; the Medipex winners will be announced on 23 March, and the HSJ winners on 24 May at a gala event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.”

To read more about the Medipex awards click here

To read more about the HSJ awards click here