Northern Care Alliance Team shortlisted for a HSJ Award 2021

24 August 2021

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group team behind Salford Royal’s Haemodialysis Service are celebrating after being shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award 2021.

The team, whose patients are from Salford, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale and Oldham, have been nominated for the Patient Safety Award for their project “Minimising COVID-19 transmission in haemodialysis units”. This aims to eliminate COVID-19 outbreaks amongst vulnerable patients receiving haemodialysis.

Patients receiving in centre haemodialysis are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 and are unable to self-isolate because they need life sustaining treatment three times a week. In addition, staff caring for these patients have a high risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 due to close proximity to patients’ airways.

National renal infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance was developed during the first wave of the pandemic. Following this, the team at Salford Royal established a Quality Improvement (QI) project across five kidney care centres in June 2020, aimed at implementing the guidance, eliminating outbreaks of COVID-19 in haemodialysis units and minimising occupational exposure for staff deployed in the COVID-19 designated unit using enhanced PPE.

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Following the implementation of the QI project there were no outbreaks within the units. Pre- and post-implementation comparison showed a significant reduction in COVID-19 related mortality and hospitalisation for patients.  Patients reported feeling safe and reassured by the IPC measures in place.

Dr Dimitrios Poulikakos, Clinical Director Renal Services, said: “This is really impressive collaborative work from our hard-working staff and our clinically vulnerable patients to eliminate COVID-19 infection rates in haemodialysis units. We all feel proud and honoured to be part of this team.”

The HSJ Awards continue to be the most esteemed accolade of healthcare service excellence in the UK. The Awards do not only adhere to values of sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes, and innovating drivers of better service, but most importantly provide a well-deserved thanks to the sector. Judging for this year’s awards will take place in September, with the awards ceremony scheduled to take place on Thursday 18th November 2021 at Evolution London.

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