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Pennine Lancashire COVID Virtual Ward SHORTLISTED FOR 2021 HSJ PATIENT SAFETY AWARDS IN Best Use of Integrated Care and Partnership Working in Patient Safety Award

The Pennine Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership, a partnership of NHS and community organisations is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted for the innovative new service known as the COVID Virtual Ward (CVW) which it introduced in response to the Covid pandemic.

The award is for the Best Use of Integrated Care and Partnership Working in Patient Safety category in this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards. It recognises outstanding contributions to healthcare.

The partnership includes health care professionals from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Medical Services, and GP practices in the Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire areas, along with the Pennine Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Council for Voluntary Services in the area.

It has been shortlisted despite the tough competition from hundreds of applicants, and in one of the most challenging years ever as the health service and partners responded to the Covid pandemic. Pennine Lancashire was one of the hardest hit areas with Covid and as a result health services were very challenged. The CVW was developed at speed, to respond locally to this and was short-listed based on its ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that it has had, and continues to have in improving patients wellbeing and producing better outcomes.

During the Covid pandemic the partnership worked quickly, together to create a CVW for Pennine Lancashire. This was an innovative, fast paced partnership that resulted in a practical solution during the heat of the pandemic. The new service protected and improved the health of vulnerable people, helped to reassure many worried patients, carers and relatives, and reduced pressure on already over-burdened hospital services. Patient feedback has been consistently positive, and the service has been influential regionally and nationally.

The CVW enables Drs and Nurses to monitor the symptoms of Covid positive patients considered to be at risk of worsening illness and hospital admission, to safely be managed at home through remote online and telephone support and monitoring. Patients are equipped with monitoring equipment and they keep a record of their symptoms. Where people experience a deterioration in their symptoms, they receive treatment at an early stage, and as a result their symptoms are managed, hospital stays are reduced and severe illness intensive treatment and even death is avoided.

Dr Mark Dziobon, Medical Director Pennine Lancashire CCGs, and Burnley GP, on behalf of the partnership said:

“I, and I know every member of the Integrated Care Partnership for Pennine Lancashire is delighted to have been shortlisted for this award which recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our colleagues and health care teams in the area over the last 12 months to successfully set up and run the COVID virtual ward. The last year has been an incredibly tough and challenging year and this service was developed in response to the huge numbers of poorly people that our health and care services were seeing. We needed to work quickly together to come up with a solution that would protect patients and help them avoid the awful and shocking consequences of Covid at its worst. Currently we have seen and helped over 2,000 people who have been supported by this service. We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement. This nomination has been a tremendous boost to health care professionals working in all of our organisations in Pennine Lancashire, and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services”.

The full list of finalists for the 2021 HSJ Patient Safety Awards can be found on https://awards.patientsafetycongress.co.uk/2021-shortlist

As part of the Patient Safety and Congress and Awards, a ceremony will take place in Manchester in September 2021 where the winners will be announced.