NHS England to fast track clinical trials and improve access for patients

NHS England |May 2018 | NHS England to fast track clinical trials and improve access for patients

NHS England, working with the National Institute for Health Research, Health Research Authority and NHS Improvement, will introduce new processes to halt delays and simplify the NHS research set up process later this year.  In some instances there can be a difference of up to nine months between hospitals taking part in a multi-site trial being confirmed, which delays the start of that trial.  Streamlined and less complex research processes will enable patients to benefit  from quicker access to trials.


The new arrangements are the first part of a wider set of commitments, ‘Twelve actions to support and apply research in the NHS’ that NHS England and NIHR made in November

Professor Chris Whitty, Government chief scientific officer, said: “These proposals are a great example of how NHS England is working with the wider health and care system to tackle some of the ingrained challenges facing research today. The Department of Health and Social Care is fully supportive of these proposals and will continue to work with NHS England and other partners to make them a reality.”

All information from NHS England 

Limiting patient harm due to Acute Kidney Injury

The AHSN Network | Limiting patient harm due to Acute Kidney Injury
Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is when a person suffers from a sudden reduction in their kidney function. An awareness programme to recognise and treat the condition promptly was developed by a team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Middlesbrough.  Since the programme began in 2015,  there has been a sustained reduction (36%) in AKI cases within the surgical wards at Middlesbrough. Now the programme and pathway has been shared with seven other trusts in the North East of England.  As a result of the AKI project and its links to CRAB Clinical Informatics Limited (C-Ci), other NHS Trusts, have now also been consulted, meaning this project has the potential for much wider spread (The AHSN Network )

Full details are available from the AHSN Network

Innovations for patient care utilising technology from space

NHS England | April 2018 | In NHS’s 70th year top doctors eye a giant leap for patient care with UK space agency

NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Innovation Professor Tony Young visited the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult-known as the UK Space Gateway.  During the visit new technologies were showcased, including environmental monitoring and satellite broadband which both offer benefits to patient care.


  • Environmental monitoring could have real benefits for the 1.2 million patients with  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as monitoring would give them and their carers updated information about air quality. Which could support those with COPD make informed decisions and give them early warnings of the increased risk of respiratory distress.
  • Satellite broadband: Over nine million people in England live in rural communities. Satellite broadband could give ambulance services real time patient information and allow them to send vital details ahead to hospitals.

Technology developed to monitor explore the solar system and discover new planets is being used to support NHS patient care. Examples include  wearables that help older people to avoid falls which utilises technology based on A NASA programme which monitored how people walk.

More information about the innovations is available from NHS England

iSPACE – dementia friendly GP surgeries

iSPACE is helping surgeries improve support for patients with dementia and their carers | AHSN

iSPACE is a quality improvement and innovation programme delivered in GP surgeries in all parts of Hampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight and south Wiltshire. The aim of iSPACE is to improve the pathway of patients with dementia and their carers through primary care.

The key to the spread of iSPACE is the engagement of staff teams and a recognition that people with dementia need a more personalised care plan and access to resources to help them and their carers to better manage the pathway.

Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) worked with Alzheimers charities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), Public Health England (PHE), Health Education England (HEE) and companies providing dementia services both within and outside the NHS to deliver this project. The AHSN delivered the project into 153 GP surgeries providing training, access to resources, meetings to encourage progress and physical resources such as funding for environmental changes and literature.

Patients reported feeling more supported by their surgery; carers reported a greater understanding of dementia from the surgery team and seeing the same clinician at each appointment. Dementia diagnosis rates increased (15.9% for people aged over 65), care planning increased by 26% for face to face reviews and 80% of surgeries now have a dementia noticeboard.

Full detail at The AHSN Network

Supporting doctors to use clinical audit

Unlocking the potential: supporting doctors to use clinical audit|  Royal College of Physicians | Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership

This report aims to increase the engagement of doctors in quality improvement activity through greater accessibility to the outputs of national clinical audit.  It is intended to bridge the current disconnect between identifying what needs to be improved and the capability to actually improve in practice.

Key recommendations include:

  • Sufficient training and resources need to be put in place to support quality improvement activity.
  • Stronger educational and organisational infrastructure for trainee doctors is vital in promoting the benefits of NCA data, and in supporting doctors to use the data.
  • Doctors should be provided with enough mentoring, time and space to be allowed to access and use data to drive improvements in care.
  • Developing quality improvement skills in higher specialty trainees would benefit from combining a regional approach to quality improvement education and training, underpinned by local organisational support involving multidisciplinary teams.

Full report: Unlocking the potential: Supporting doctors to use clinical audit

Patients get the green light for smarter choices after latest GP pilot

New trial results from the Behavioural Insights Team show improved service access | NHS England

traffic.pngA pilot system is now making it easier for GPs to understand the waiting times at hospitals for their patients. The e-traffic light system could help reduce hospital waiting times while offering patients a clearer choice of treatment and is set to be rolled out across the country after a successful NHS trial.

A tweak to the GP referral system sees a red light appear against a hospital with longer waiting times while a green light shows those with spare capacity, meaning doctors can offer patients potentially quicker routes to treatment and help them make more informed choices.

Results from two London trials have been promising – red lights reduced referrals to overbooked hospitals by nearly 40 per cent, while green lights increased referrals to hospitals with available capacity by 14 per cent this winter.

The Capacity Alert system was developed after NHS England commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to come up with ways of helping hospital trusts ease pressure on services.

Following the success of the trials in North East and South West London, BIT is now supporting the roll-out of the Capacity Alert system across the NHS in England.

Full story at NHS England

See also: Traffic light system could reduce hospital waiting times | National Health Executive