Trust shortlisted five times for national HSJ awards for work to improve value and efficiency in NHS services

The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is hoping to follow up its win at the national HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards in 2014 with more success in the 2015 event.

A year after the Trust’s stroke therapy team tasted victory, the organisation has been shortlisted five times ahead of the 2015 awards ceremony next month.

The awards, led by flagship publication the Health Service Journal, recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS.


With NHS organisations required to make significant year-on-year savings and Devon highlighted as one of 11 “distressed health economies” in the country, it is more important than ever for the Trust to find efficiencies across its acute, community and specialist services.

The Trust has introduced a number of projects and services in recent years aimed at delivering safe, high-quality care and a range of other benefits, while also saving money for the NHS.

Five of these have been named as finalists in the HSJ awards, beating off competition from a record total of 532 entries.

Three relate to the Trust’s community services, including two projects based in Exeter.

  • The Exeter Community Nursing Centre, launched in April 2014, supports people who were previously visited in their own home by a community nurse but are mobile enough to access treatment locally at a time of their convenience. This has helped to free up time for nurses to care for patients who are less mobile and with more complex needs in their own home, leading to efficiency savings of around £50,000 in the first year.
  • The Exeter cluster pharmacy team works to empower frail elderly patients to manage their own medicines safely at home, reducing risks and hospital admissions and achieving cost savings of over £250,000 a year.
  • The North Devon District Hospital orthopaedic team launched an enhanced recovery programme in 2011, which has led to a dramatic reduction in the average length of stay for patients undergoing hip or knee replacements as well as significant cost savings for the Trust.
  • ComPAS, the Trust’s community patient administration system, provides detailed data which helps to inform contract negotiations, workforce planning, operational delivery and communications, bringing significant improvements in productivity and estimated savings of £3.4million through reduced hospital admissions.
  • STAR, an online learning management system where Trust staff can access, complete and track all their mandatory and optional training from any internet-enabled device, has brought significant benefits since its launch in 2013, including £1million savings in training costs for patient-facing staff.

The five shortlisted teams have presented their entries to an expert judging panel in London and will find out if they have won at the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in the capital on Tuesday 22 September.

Dr Alison Diamond, chief executive, said: “To have five teams shortlisted for these prestigious awards is fantastic news for the Trust and is testament to the hard work of our staff to improve care for patients while also providing value for money for the taxpayer.

“It is always satisfying to be recognised nationally as a leader in the field.”

The success of two of the five projects has been showcased elsewhere.

ComPAS was shortlisted last year and has recently been named as a finalist in the EHI Awards, which celebrates the best IT projects in healthcare.

Trust representatives came through a judging event at the King Power Stadium in Leicester in July and will attend the awards gala dinner at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London on Thursday 1 October.

The ongoing success of STAR helped the Trust and partner company Kallidus take victory at the E-Learning Awards in London last year, beating off competition from Sony Europe, Tesco Bank and Jurys Inn.


The Exeter Community Nursing Centre team comprises (from left) Louise Clayton (community staff nurse), Karen Highmore (community specialist nurse), Carly Greene (clinical administrative assistant) and Heather Luke (community staff nurse).


Making up the Exeter cluster pharmacy team are (back row, from left) Gillie Smith (pharmacy technician), Karena Mulcock (lead pharmacist for community services) and Sarah Fowler (pharmacy technician); and (front) cluster pharmacists Sara Dilks, Ian Nash and Kate Emblin. Not pictured: Sally Jefferies (clinical audit facilitator).


The orthopaedic team at NDDH includes (from left) Debbie Ludwell (lead pre-op assessment nurse), Jo Lethaby (Tarka Ward manager), Andrew Temple (orthopaedic consultant), Ashley McClean (therapy support worker), Sharon O’Rourke (senior staff nurse), Lisa Golledge (therapy support worker), Nick McGuirk (orthopaedic therapy team lead) and Sharon Thompson (staff nurse).




Exeter Community Nursing Centre

Project name: Exeter Community Nursing Centre provides an innovative service to patients who were previously visited in their homes by community nurses

Project summary: The Trust’s integrated health and social care teams support around 7,000 Devon residents in their own homes. The complexity of this caseload is increasing. The median length of home visit is now 45 minutes – up from 30 minutes last year. The Exeter Community Nursing Centre was established to support shorter lengths of stay and increased independence of complex patients by taking ambulatory patients off the caseload and into local nurse-led clinics. Patients see significant improvements in outcomes, particularly leg ulcer and wound management. Benefits include avoided escalation of ambulatory care and self-management.

Category: Value and improvement in community health service redesign

Other news: The centre has been invited to host a workshop and provide a keynote speech at an event in Manchester on Tuesday 22 September. The event, at Manchester Conference Centre, is entitled Community Nursing and Family Health: Innovation for Greater Local Integration.


Exeter cluster pharmacy team

Project name: Exeter cluster pharmacy team provides an innovative, patient-centred service to frail elderly in their own homes, reducing hospital admissions

Project summary: The cluster pharmacy team is based within the integrated community health and social care team in Exeter. The core activity of this service is to empower patients to take responsibility for their own medication. It is an innovative, patient-centred service which is a key part of the overall transforming community services strategy for the region. A recent report on the service shows how it has a positive impact on patient safety and healthcare effectiveness. Risks for patients have been reduced, a significant number of hospital admissions have been avoided and £255,504 of cost savings has been achieved.

Category: Value and improvement in medicines management

Other news: The team has been invited to showcase its work with presentations at two national conferences in the autumn. Cluster pharmacist Kate Emblin will represent the service at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual conference in Birmingham on 13 and 14 September. Karena Mulcock, the lead pharmacist for community services, will attend the Primary and Community Care Pharmacy Network (PCCPN) development meeting in Birmingham on 12 October. The team hopes to make a presentation at the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) autumn symposium at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester on 13 and 14 November. The team is also looking to publish its service evaluation outcomes in a peer reviewed journal in the near future.


Orthopaedic team, North Devon District Hospital

Project name: Enhanced recovery pathway for elective hip and knee replacements

Project summary: In 2011 the Trust introduced an enhanced recovery pathway for elective hip and knee replacements. This pathway has resulted in excellent results that have been beneficial for all stakeholders. This success has been down to a collective approach from all members of the multi-disciplinary team working together with collective goals of providing an improved service to our patients. While doing this there has been significant cost saving for the Trust – approximately 2,664 bed days. This has been achieved with the resources we already had and with minimal cost to the Trust.

Category: Value and improvement in acute service redesign


Community patient administration system (ComPAS)

ComPAS-logoProject name:
Community care closer to home IT infrastructure – evidencing growth, driving efficiencies and facilitating major service change

Project summary: The Trust’s community patient information system has been developed and implemented to enable accurate community activity data to inform contract negotiations, workforce planning, operational delivery and communications. This system is instrumental in providing accurate, detailed data to support the Trust’s strategic patient-focused direction of Care Closer to Home. Innovative reporting has been used in contracting, internal discussions to inform skill-mix and role review and public consultations to inform, evaluate and communicate major service transformations. Benefits include £2.8million of growth funding for community services, 18% improvement in productivity and savings from reduction in hospital admissions projected at £3.4million.

Category: Implementation of IT to support healthcare business efficiency



STAR-logoProject name:
Kallidus LMS enables Trust to reinvest 8,300 hours into patient care, increase learning compliance and save £1milllion in training costs

Project summary: Amid substantial budget cuts, the Trust made a decision to buy a learning management system (LMS). Since 2013, this strategy has significantly improved learning outcomes, increasing learning access for a workforce dispersed across 2,500 square miles and saving vital clinical and administrative resources. In year one, 8,300 working hours were released back into improving quality of care, including 4,300 hours of clinical and nursing time, with £1million saved in training costs for patient-facing staff. Within 14 months, learning compliance increased from 65% to 86%, exceeding key statutory targets.

Category: Value and improvement in training and development

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Last updated: March 6, 2018