Friday 31 March 2017

Newcastle’s Liver Unit scooped a Royal College of Physicians Award

Newcastle's Liver team has won the Quality Improvement Award at the recent Royal College of Physicians Excellence in Patient Care Awards.

The award recognises their work in developing a care bundle for patients admitted with decompensated cirrhosis – a life threatening condition where the liver does not function properly.

Dr Stuart McPherson, Consultant Hepatologist and project lead, says: “We are delighted to win this award, especially as we were up against some tough competition. It’s really gratifying to be recognised for the work we have carried out here in Newcastle to develop a care bundle which we know can make a real difference for patients with life-threatening decompensated cirrhosis.

“The initiative was a real team effort and this award is testament to the commitment of everyone involved.”

Research into liver disease is a key focus for the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre. The partnership between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University is committed to improving the lives of people living with liver diseases, by enhancing the understanding of causes, therapies and potential cures of several serious liver conditions.

The care bundle was therefore developed directly in response to national and local findings of care for patients with the condition. Since implementing the new approach, the team has found significant improvements in patient care, such as patients having a diagnostic ascitic tap performed within the first 24 hours, leading to life-saving treatments being administered earlier.

Dr McPherson adds: “We have also received universal praise and endorsement for the care bundle by the British Society of Gastroenterology and British Association for the Study of the Liver.”

The team is made up of project lead Dr Stuart McPherson, Consultant Hepatologist, Dr Jessica Dyson, Honorary Consultant Hepatologist, Dr Mark Hudson, Consultant Hepatologist, Dr Christian Dipper, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dr Steven Masson, Consultant Hepatologist and Elaine Coghill, Quality and Effectiveness Lead.

The care bundle provides a simple evidence-based checklist to ensure appropriate investigations and treatment are given in a timely manner. The checklist highlights key investigations and provides clear guidance on the management of cirrhosis-related complications such as infection and Acute Kidney Injury.

The RCP Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2017 recognises and celebrates the work that physicians do to improve patient-centred care through education, policy, clinical practice and research.

The Quality Improvement award celebrates outstanding clinical activity that contributes to excellent patient care by applying best practice and aiming to improve performance.