Kettering General Hospital’s Respiratory Service has been shortlisted for the 2018 HSJ (Health Service Journal) Value in Healthcare Awards
It has been shortlisted alongside 11 other trusts in the Acute Service Redesign category for its Ambulatory Pneumothorax Service.
The service enables patients who would usually have been admitted to hospital for up to two weeks to instead be seen and discharged on the same day – with regular follow-up checks at a special clinic as an outpatient.
The service is run by three consultants in respiratory medicine, Dr Raja Reddy, Dr Muhammad Naeem and Dr Yusuf Vali, and a pleural nurse specialist, Samantha Rawson.
Dr Reddy said: “The Respiratory Service team established the pneumothorax service in 2013 and we have further developed the service since then to treat patients with mild lung disease – which we believe is a first in English hospitals.
“Traditionally hospitals treat this condition - which is an air leak from the lung which causes breathlessness - by admitting the patient to hospital.
“They would then have a chest drain inserted into the space around the collapsed lung and would stay in hospital until it healed - sometimes for up to two weeks.
“We developed the service as 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.
“Our latest development has been to treat patients with underlying lung disease who are reasonably fit.
“We have found this works well. Traditionally such patients are always admitted to hospital – and we believe we are one of the first hospitals in the country to do this differently.
“I want to thank the whole team for the work they put into the service – which involves coming in on Saturday and Sunday mornings if needed.
“Our service is much quicker and more convenient for patients and also saves the health service a lot of money because it reduces the need for expensive stays in hospital.”
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “The finalists of this year’s HSJ Value Awards have been successful in the most difficult of tasks, finding ways to improve value for money through cutting edge innovation that protects and sometimes even enhances patient experience, safety and outcomes.”
The final round of judging starts on April 4 with the winners announced at a ceremony in Manchester on June 7.