Excellence and innovation award for partnership working project
17 July 2014
A joint project by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) has received a prestigious accolade from the British Thoracic Society.
The project, which focuses on enhancing the psychological
well-being in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
(COPD), came out on top in the excellence and innovation category
at this year's awards for innovation and quality improvement, an
important part of the British Thoracic Society's summer meeting
which took place at York Racecourse earlier this month.
This latest success follows national recognition at the British
Medical Journal Awards in May where the project was highly
commended in the 'respiratory care team' category.
Clinicians from both organisations recognised that patients with
COPD are at risk of depression and anxiety, particularly those who
have a severe form of the disease. Many of these patients had unmet
psychological needs which were impacting on their quality of
A multidisciplinary team was formed to address this, and last
year SEPT successfully bid for funds from NHS East of England for a
year-long joint pilot project between Southend University Hospital
and SEPT to support the psychological needs of patients with
A clinical psychologist was appointed who worked with the team
to develop screening tools to identify emotional difficulty, as
well as instigating a tiered approach to supporting the
psychological wellbeing of COPD patients.
A key part of the implementation of the project was the training
of 'psychology champions', members of the multidisciplinary team
who had no previous psychology training but who were trained and
mentored to develop skills in specific approaches to panic, mood
Dr Duncan Powrie, consultant respiratory physician at Southend
University Hospital, said: "This is an example of how two
organisations can work together in an innovative way to identify
and address a common and under-recognised problem.
"The whole team bought into a new way of working; as a result we
have reduced hospital admissions and patient feedback has been
Dr Greg Wood, consultant clinical psychologist at SEPT, added:
"It is extremely gratifying to receive recognition from the British
Thoracic Society for our COPD project.
"I'm incredibly proud of the results the team have achieved with
such positive improvements in well-being and adjustment to COPD in
our patients. This is an excellent example of how clinical
psychologists can be of benefit to patients with physical health
problems, and contribute to health efficiencies."