26. June 2012 16:46
An early detection of cancer community project in Lincolnshire has been awarded a £50,000 NHS Innovation Challenge Prize by the Department of Health.
Julie Grimmer, in partnership with NHS North East Lincolnshire, was awarded the accolade after her Community Engagement Project led to a substantial increase in two week wait referrals.
The project involves the use of 50 volunteers who act as agents in helping people understand, discuss and seek help for the early symptoms of cancer.
The community-led model combines social marketing, community involvement and action and has seen the uptake of bowel screening increase 57% against the national average of 30% and cervical screening up by 12% in the last three years compared to a 7.4% regional increase.
Dr Dean Harmse from Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust was also awarded £50,000 after his project reduced histopathology laboratory turnaround times.
This was achieved by changes in workflow and other systems which saw the backlog of cases reduced from 500 to zero over three months, whilst increasing seven day turnaround times from 38% to 87%. Ten day turnaround times also increased from 48% to 94%.
Finally, Dr David Swann – in partnership with NHS East Riding of Yorkshire – was awarded a highly commended status for designing a new 21st century nurse’s bag to help control infection.
The applicant designed a new type of bag which includes integrated treatment space, is easy to clean and is highly functional. It also improves patient safety, productivity and the patient’s experience.
The innovation prizes are part of the DH’s wider innovation strategy designed to support the creation of innovation within the NHS. Up to £1m of prize money can be awarded for each of the challenges.