Children's services and prostate cancer teams win awards for innovations in care

Two teams at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been recognised for their work to improve patient care, with awards from leading industry publication the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

The Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) initiative won in the acute or specialist services redesign category for London and the south, while a collaboration with a number of neighbouring trusts to introduce a world-leading approach to diagnosing prostate cancer, won the award for acute sector innovation.

CC4C is a model of care for children where specialist paediatricians from the Trust work closely with GP practices to deliver care in the community.

“We know patients have wonderful relationships with their local GPs,” explains Dr Mando Watson, “and that coming into hospital can be very daunting. If we, as paediatricians, are in a local practice working with GPs, then patients can access our expertise much more easily, and more children get the care they need without being referred immediately to hospital.”

The approach has led to significant reductions in outpatient appointments, accident and emergency attendances and hospital admissions at the Trust, and a similar model has also been introduced for adults, following its success.

“It’s been fantastic to implement an initiative that improves health, reduces waste, stops duplication and helps everyone to be more proactive about their health,” adds Dr Watson.

The RAPID pathway, meanwhile, provides a one-stop shop for men with suspected prostate cancer, helping to reduce diagnosis times. The approach allows men to have an advanced MRI scan and receive their results on the same day, replacing multiple outpatient visits over a number of weeks, speeding up diagnosis significantly, and often avoiding the need for multiple biopsies to be taken.

RAPID, which stands for Rapid Access to Prostate Imaging and Diagnosis, has been implemented in collaboration with The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust, St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust in an innovative cross-London collaboration.

Hashim Ahmed, consultant urologist at the Trust, said, “Through RAPID, we have achieved quicker time to diagnosis of prostate cancer and quicker times to treatment than ever before. We’re doing fewer biopsies, and the men that do need them are having state of the art, more precise biopsies that are finding aggressive cancers earlier.”

“The Trust has been at the forefront of innovation, and for prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s no different.”