Southend stroke team lifts national trophy
11 October 2013
Southend University Hospital’s stroke team has collected a prestigious national award for designing an online referral form to assist GPs in identifying at-risk patients.
The jubilant team took the trophy for 'best use of IT to support
clinical treatment and care' at the finals of theE-Health
Insiderawards, held at London's Roundhouse Theatre.
The foolproof referral process for patients showing symptoms of
transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or mini stroke, was developed by
consultant Dr Devesh Sinha with design help from senior application
manager Philip Crofts. The GP simply uses a drop-down box on the
computer which then calculates the patient's risk and advises the
GP of what action to take. It ensures that all high-risk patients
are assessed, investigated and treated within 24 hours, in line
with NICE guidelines. Those at low risk receive an appointment at
the hospital's TIA clinic within a week.
The Southend team was up against some heavyweight competition
including Bart's, Moorfields eye hospital and The Christie.
Presenting the awards,E-Health Insidereditor, Jon Hoeksma, said
that all 250 entries for this year's awards had proved how 'time
and again teams had gone beyond their job description because they
He told the 700 guests: "You are the giants on whose shoulders
others will want to stand. Every one of the entries represents a
huge amount of commitment and hard work to provide a higher quality
and more responsive health service."
Southend's winning system supports the GP in making the correct
risk calculation and prevents dangerous delays in referring the
patient to specialist treatment.
Dr Sinha said: "The patients also automatically receive
information about TIA and what to expect next in their treatment
which can be empowering for them.
"The system was developed with the help of our colleagues in
primary care and IT and our local commissioners - all working
together in a positive spirit. It is extremely simple to use and
could easily be adopted around the country to improve stroke care
The team's success is just the latest in a succession of awards
this year. The hospital's innovative snack round scheme won a
Patient Safety 2013 Award organised by theNursing Timesand
theHealth Service Journaland earlier this month 78-yearold diabetes
nurse Jackie Reid was named 'most inspirational' in this year's
Inspiration Awards for Women.
Meanwhile, renal nurses Georgie Pharro and Lis McNally will
learn on October 30 if they have won theNursing Timesaward for
'enhancing patient dignity' with the help they give patients in
end-stage kidney disease.
Hospital chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell said: "The
stroke team's success was richly deserved. These awards make me
immensely proud. I know how much excellent work goes on around the
organisation day in, day out - but it is so good to have it
recognised more widely! "
With pic: the award-winning stroke team with Dr Sinha third