The patient-initiated clinic has been recognised for its work.

Impactful research shortlisted in-line for national award

A research-driven project which means South West patients with long-term health conditions are getting to see health experts when they need to has been shortlisted by the British Society for Rheumatology in its Best Practice Awards.

The project, which includes experts from the University of Exeter Medical School, is working with clinicians and nurses in the Rheumatology team at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth to develop a system which allows people to contact a specialist nurse whenever their condition deteriorates, meaning that they can be offered a face-to-face appointment within two weeks, rather than having to have scheduled appointments every six months, regardless of need. This innovative and patient-led approach has led to the project being recognised in the 'Patient Self-Management and Decision-Making' Category of the awards.

A multidisciplinary group of experts, including healthcare professionals, health economists and patient experts from the British Society for Rheumatology will now visit Derriford Hospital to assess the project against the judging criteria, with the award winners being announced in March next year.

PenCLAHRC project lead, Dr Vicki Goodwin, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said of the nomination: “The Rheumatology team at Derriford have worked very hard on developing their patient referral 'Direct Access' service in conjunction with their patients and PenCLAHRC. Being shortlisted has been a great boost to their morale and reflects the desire in the team to improve treatment for patients.”

Research and evaluation of the programme has been led by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC) in association with the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN).

Date: 28 October 2015

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