2015 NHS Innovation Challenge prize winners announced

Prize-winning diabetes initiatives demonstrate both improved patient outcomes and cost savings to the NHS

An NHS competition to support technology innovation within the field of diabetes culminated this week in the award of three grants.

This year’s winners demonstrate the enthusiasm and motivation within the NHS to modernise healthcare delivery and provide better, more effective care at a lower cost to society

In partnership with the NHS, Janssen has announced the winners who have demonstrated cost savings to the healthcare system and improved outcomes for patients with diabetes.

The three NHS Innovation Challenge 1 and Challenge 2 winners will benefit from a share of a £200,000 funding pot, as well as access to mentoring from Janssen, a company leading the way in diabetes treatment and care, which sponsored the awards.

The winners are:

  • King’s College Hospital – awarded £50,000 to support its project aimed at Type 1 diabetes patients. Entitled 3 Dimensions of Care for Diabetes , the programme aims to bridge the gap between mental, social and clinical care that prevents people from using available services
  • Hillingdon Hospital – awarded £50,000 for its diabetes services to the schools of children and young people most affected by Type 1 diabetes
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust Apnee Seehat – awarded £100,000 for their South Asian Specialist Intervention pilot mentoring those at a high risk of Type 2 diabetes

Mark Hicken, managing director of Janssen, UK & Ireland, said: "We’re proud to partner once again with NHS England on the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes. This year’s winners demonstrate the enthusiasm and motivation within the NHS to modernise healthcare delivery and provide better, more effective care at a lower cost to society. The winning programmes prove that integrated, personalised care can really make a difference.”

The winning programmes prove that integrated, personalised care can really make a difference

NHS Innovation Challenge 1 looked for ventures that could demonstrate improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes through the implementation of integrated care services.

Challenge 2 sought innovative solutions to help improve diabetes outcomes among black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, for whom the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is up to six times greater compared to the UK’s white population.

At King's College Hospital, the skill set of the existing multi-disciplinary team has been bolstered with a psychiatrist, community support workers and trained volunteers resulting in greater patient engagement and a 45% fall in the number of sufferers resorting to unscheduled emergency care. The analysis indicated that not only did this improve patient outcomes, but a saving of £850 per patient per year was made.

The prize money will be used to roll out further pilot projects as well as introduce an electronic register trial to test the diabetes care pathway in action and establish a new e-learning model to help manage early symptoms of depression.

The money awarded to Hillingdon Hospital will enhance its Type 1 diabetes service within schools.

A first for the UK, the outreach team is working with six local schools to run the clinics and has recorded a 98% attendance rate and reduced its ‘Did not attend’ rating from 30% to almost zero.

Over the next few months the team is looking for ways to extend the scheme to community centres, youth clubs and GP practices in addition to expanding the scope beyond diabetes to include asthma and obesity.

The George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and Apnee Seehat will use its Challenge 2 funding to work with GP surgeries in the West Midlands using culturally-trained diabetes specialists to connect with patients who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes or who have poorly-managed symptoms, through telephone consultations and outpatient clinics.

The assessments, screening and follow-up care has been shown to cost half that of a hospital appointment, with other benefits including ‘future patient’ prevention and engaging a typically ‘hard-to-reach’ community.

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