The service has won the college’s Innovation Award for their ambulatory management of spontaneous pneumothorax work – a service which helps to reduce the need for patients with lung conditions to spend time in hospital.
The RCP award recognises projects that have used innovative new techniques or ideas that have contributed to significant improvements in patient care or health outcomes.
The ambulatory pneumothorax service enables patients who would traditionally 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 Consultants in Respiratory Medicine, Dr Raja Reddy, Dr George Tsaknis, Dr Muhammad Naeem, and Pleural Nurse Specialists Samantha Rawson and Lesley Holland.
Dr Reddy said: “We are delighted. This is recognition of six years of work our team has made in developing the pneumothorax services at Kettering General Hospital for the benefit of our patients.
“It recognises the way we have committed to improving the service at every opportunity.”
The Respiratory Service established the Ambulatory Pneumothorax Service in 2013 and it has been further developed since then to treat not only primary cases (mainly young), but also mild secondary pneumothorax cases (usually older, smokers, with underlying lung disease), significantly increasing the number of patients who can safely benefit from this approach.
Traditionally hospitals treat this condition – which is an air leak from the lung, causing lung collapse and 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.
Dr Reddy said: “But 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 is that many patients can be discharged home directly from A&E after chest drain insertion.
“They can then come in and see the Consultant or the Specialist Nurse as an outpatient in our Ambulatory Care Unit.”
The team have maintained the service and support for their patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the pandemic the service is operating differently with X-rays being performed in off-site outpatient locations and follow-up consultations with patients by telephone, supplemented by hospital visits where necessary.
The results of the Royal College of Physicians awards were announced last night (May 13) https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/rcp-excellence-patient-care-awards-2020-winners-are-being-announced.
The team gets a £1,000, a commemorative plaque and promotion of their winning project by the RCP.