18 Aug 2023
Three teams from the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised in this year’s HSJ awards.
The nominees include a world-leading service that’s transforming healthcare for children with rare genetic conditions, a dynamic approach for managing equipment for community nurses, and a ground-breaking project that explores how anaesthetic services can be more environmentally friendly.
Chris Tidman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Royal Devon, said:
“We are really proud of what our teams do every day, not only to deliver great care to our patients, but also to help us develop the way we can deliver care for the future. These three projects are really strong examples of how we continue to innovate, and I’d like to thank and congratulate all of the colleagues involved.”
The awards received a ‘record-breaking’ 1,456 entries this year, making it really special to be shortlisted in these three categories. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 16 November 2023.
Pioneering genomics service
The NHS England National Rapid Genome Sequencing Service (WGS) has been shortlisted for the Acute Sector Innovation of the Year award. This cutting-edge service for critically unwell babies and children is based in the Exeter Genomics Laboratory of the South West NHS Genomic Laboratory Hub, which is hosted by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Developed by the Exeter Genomics Laboratory, in partnership with NHS England Genomics Unit and the University of Exeter, the service receives samples from hospitals across England and means that NHS doctors can quickly diagnose and potentially save the lives of severely ill children and babies in intensive care.
This service is the only one of its kind worldwide and can help diagnose critically ill babies and children sometimes in as little as five days, using a single blood test to look for more than 7,000 genetic conditions. This has revolutionised the approach to treatment and care for children and families affected by rare genetic conditions.
Adrian Harris, Chief Medical Officer for the Royal Devon, said:
“It is really difficult to overestimate the impact this has on children’s lives. Some children with rare genetic conditions can become profoundly unwell within hours or days after birth. We haven’t always been able to understand why that is. Now, thanks to this pioneering innovation, we can often find a diagnosis within a matter of days - that is truly transformational"
Andy Parrish, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of the NHS Exeter Genomics Laboratory, said:
“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Acute Sector Innovation of the Year award, and would like to thank the fantastic teams across the Royal Devon, Exeter University, NHS England Genomics Unit and the clinical teams across the NHS who support our world-leading genetic services.
“Raising awareness of this service helps us to make sure that all children and families in England who may benefit from Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing can access the service.
“We know that when a child is critically unwell on a neonatal or paediatric intensive care unit, every second counts.”
Community nursing team initiative
A new equipment bag for community nurses, developed by a team of specialists from the Royal Devon’s Northern services and medical bag manufacturers CorrMed, has been shortlisted for the Primary and Community Care Innovation of the Year award.
Rather than using different bags, nursing colleagues can now have all the equipment they need in one convenient and portable place, meaning more time can be spent with our patients, improving their experience and quality of care. The bags, which include colour-coded pouches and fully-wipeable surfaces, are already in use across the Royal Devon’s Northern services and will be rolled out in our Eastern services soon.
The Trust is grateful for the support of the South Molton League of Friends, League of Friends of the Tyrrell Hospital Ilfracombe, and Torrington Hospital League of Friends, who have kindly funded the bags that are currently in use.
Sam Charlton, Community Clinical Matron, who helped lead the development of the new bags, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been shortlisted for this award and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the project.
“Since introducing them, our community nursing colleagues say they feel more professional and valued in their roles and feel they can deliver a higher-quality service for our patients, which has been brilliant to hear.”
An innovative project, aimed at minimising the carbon footprint associated with the use of anaesthetic gases in healthcare has been shortlisted for the prestigious Towards Net Zero award.
Colleagues across the Trust have been looking at how anaesthetic services can be more environmentally friendly. Anaesthetic gases are used in many medical procedures such as major operations and surgery. When released into the atmosphere, these gases have a negative impact on both air quality and the environment.
Pete Ford, Consultant Anaesthetist, is spearheading a number of project initiatives which include discontinuing the use of some gases and increasing the use of intravenous anaesthesia where appropriate to reduce the use of inhalation gases.
To date, the project has achieved an impressive 80.6% reduction in Nitrous Oxide, 93% reduction in Desflurane usage, and a 57% reduction in the total use of anaesthetic gases in procedures.
Pete Ford, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Business Innovation and Sustainability, said: “We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for our project. The accomplishments we’ve had so far in reducing anaesthetic gases mark significant progress towards our target to achieve net zero. This is only the start of our approach and we’re looking forward to continuing our work across the Trust and increasing our impact.”
Last updated: August 21, 2023