Kettering doctors shortlisted for national award

Dr Raja Reddy (left) and Dr Muhammad Naeem have been shortlisted for the 2015 BMJ Awards
Dr Raja Reddy (left) and Dr Muhammad Naeem have been shortlisted for the 2015 BMJ Awards

Two doctors at Kettering General Hospital have been shortlisted for a national award considered to be the equivalent of a ‘medial Oscar’ for starting up a service allowing patients who would usually be treated in hospital to stay at home.

Dr Raja Reddy and Dr Muhammad Naeem, both consultants in respiratory medicine, founded the hospital trust’s Ambulatory Pneumothorax Service in 2013 as a way to allow patients with pneumothorax to receive more “flexible” treatment without having to spend “unnecessary” nights in hospital. Instead they can come in for regular checks as outpatients.

The service has been shortlisted in the Innovation Team category of the presitgious 2015 BMJ Awards and is in competition with four other healthcare teams.

Dr Naeem said: “We are both thrilled that our entry to the BMJ Awards has got through to the finals.

“It has already drawn a lot of attention to our service and other hospitals are asking us how they could run a similar service.”

The common pneumothorax condition occurs when patients have an air leak in the lung, causing breathlessness, and is treated with a chest drain that can require patients to stay in hospital for up to two weeks until it heals.

Dr Reddy said: “Dr Naeem and myself established the pneumothorax service because we wanted to develop a way for patients with this condition to have treatment that wouldn’t involve overnight stays in hospital.

“What is innovative about our service is that many patients can be discharged home directly from A&E after chest drain insertion.

“They can then come in and see their respiratory consultant as an outpatient in our Ambulatory Care Unit.

“Many pneumothorax patients are quite young and really don’t want to spend unnecessary time in hospital so this flexible approach really suits their lifestyle. It enables us to carry out all the checks we need to do on them during a short appointment with myself or Dr Naeem.”

A BMJ spokesman commented: “Dr Raja Reddy and his team at Kettering General Hospital have been shortlisted for the BMJ Awards 2015 (Innovation category) for their work to offer a comprehensive outpatient pneumothorax service for primary and secondary pneumothorax patients.

“Our awards recognise and celebrate the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams. Every shortlisted team will be presented at a gala dinner on the 6th May at the Park Plaza Hotel in London, when the winners for each category will be announced.”