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Maternity among first-ever WeImprove winners

Staff celebrate at the WeImprove Awards

Schemes to slash serious incidents in maternity and phase out an environmentally harmful spray in theatres were among the winners at the first-ever WeImprove Awards last week.

The event, which took place at The Royal College of Pathologists headquarters in Aldgate, saw a host of teams from across the group come together to celebrate outstanding examples of quality improvement (QI).

QI sees people and teams closest to an issue try to improve it using a set methodology. Our version is called WeImprove.

After receiving over 100 nominations from all five hospitals and corporate services, the judges announced an additional (seventh) award recognising QI’s role in unpicking difficult local processes.

Opening the awards, group director of improvement Chris Gordon said it was: “a day to celebrate our improvement journey so far.”

Group chief executive Shane DeGaris said quality improvement was “tried and tested” and “remains front and centre of how we want to do things around here.”

Former NHS England improvement director Hugh McCaughey said: “outstanding organisations have quality improvement embedded in them” and praised the progress we have made since WeImprove launched in 2019, including the comprehensive suite of training now on offer to our staff.

Guests from across the group were invited on stage to reveal our winners which included the maternity team at Whipps Cross Hospital whose crucial campaign to eliminate so-called 'never events' won the patient safety award.

A scheme to cut the use of expensive and environmentally unfriendly ethyl chloride, or 'cold spray', from theatres in Newham won the WeImprove sustainability award.

A project from our trust urology network to educate school children on the dangers of testicular torsion was successful in the working in partnership category.

Our other winning teams included our Remote Emergency Access Coordination Hub, which has prevented over 6,000 unnecessary ambulance visits to our north east London hospitals, and was victorious in the WeImprove systems category.

A project to improve patient outcomes by promoting exercise on Peace Ward at Whipps Cross scooped the WeImprove award for joy in work, and efforts to bring bowel cancer screening rates in Newham in line with the national average secured the equity prize.

Meanwhile the efforts of our ultrasound colleagues to speed up access to scans and reduce the number of missed appointments were recognised with the local processes prize.

All our winners (pictured below) receive a WeImprove certificate and badge along with a sought-after glass trophy.

2023 WeImprove award winners

2023 winners

WeImprove Equity

Shortlisted: Physio access for advanced lung cancer patients (St Bartholomew’s Hospital); Addressing DNA rates in trauma and orthopaedics (Whipps Cross Hospital)

Winning project: Improving bowel cancer screening awareness in Newham borough

The panel praised the “really comprehensive and far-reaching project” that “understood the needs of our local populations.”

WeImprove Joy in Work

Winning project: Whipps Cross Hospital active ward

Judges called it “a great idea to keep patients moving.”

WeImprove Local Processes

Shortlisted: Improving discharge and flow at The Royal London Hospital

Winning project: Improving access to ultrasound imaging at Barts Health

The panel called out “a great contribution to our efficiency.”

WeImprove Patient Safety

Shortlisted: Redesigning the induction of labour at Newham Hospital; Maternity triage at Newham Hospital

Winning project: Reducing harm to maternity patients at Whipps Cross Hospital

Our experts agreed “the learning should be extended across the organisation.”

WeImprove Sustainability

Shortlisted: Trust-wide nitrous oxide mitigation project; Code Green Team: Operation Shutdown at The Royal London Hospital

Winning project: Reducing Ethyl Chloride use in Newham Hospital theatres

The judges loved the “simple and effective change that benefits the trust and environment.”

WeImprove Systems

Shortlisted: Optimising lipid therapy across north east London (St Bartholomew’s Hospital)

Winning project: Remote Emergency Access Coordination Hub (REACH)

The panel praised “an outstanding project” with “a strong QI approach.”

WeImprove Working in Partnership

Shortlisted: Intensive care patient and family experience (St Bartholomew’s Hospital); People participation in QI projects (Newham)

Winning project: Community testicular health teaching in schools – testicular torsion (twisting)

Our experts said the project “addressed an unmet need in men’s health.”

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