28 June 2021

Hassan Burhan and Rhiannon Clarke

The Innovation Agency is delighted to announce that a project it has supported has been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

The successful nominations, for Primary Care Initiative of the Year and Best Use of Integrated Care and Partnership Working in Patient Safety, relate to the development of specialist asthma care for patients identified as at high risk in Knowsley. 

Despite the challenge of COVID-19 restrictions, staff from the Innovation Agency, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Primary Care Knowsley worked to provide a virtual and face to face service.

A trial involving five GP surgeries in Knowsley began in October 2020 and since then 747 patients have made use of the service. As a result, 221 patients had their treatment increased, potentially reducing the need for a later hospital admission.

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award which recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 12 months to successfully implement the proactive management of asthma,“ said Dr Hassan Burhan, respiratory consultant at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the Liverpool asthma programmes.

“We know that deaths from respiratory disease in our area are 42 per cent higher than the national average and we are committed to reducing that. To be shortlisted among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.”

The initial scheme in Knowsley has been judged a success and since May two more primary care networks have signed up to the programme with training now underway.

“In early 2020, work began to develop a Knowsley high-risk Asthma Clinic (K-HAC), via the Knowsley Integrated Asthma Service which identified 500 high risk patients,” said Rhiannon Clarke, Project Manager for the Innovation Agency.

“COVID-19 and the vaccination programme made it challenging to deliver routine proactive primary care which led to an increase in unscheduled care in GP practices and hospitals which were already facing growing demands from patients.”

The judging panel is made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including Sue Smith OBE (Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, University Hospitals Morecambe Bay FT), Rachel Power (Chief Executive, The Patients Association), Dr Hester Wain (Head of Patient Safety Policy, NHS England and NHS Improvement).

Winners will be selected from the list of finalists the 2021 HSJ Patient Safety Awards as part of the Patient Safety Congress and Awards in Manchester on 20 September 2021.


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