Celebrating success in Welsh health innovation

Hundreds of guests gathered for the MediWales Innovation Awards on 12th December at Cardiff’s National Museum of Wales, to celebrate the achievements of the Welsh health and life science sector in 2017.

Delivered with support from the Welsh Government’s Healthcare Technology, Strategy and Innovation team and Health & Care Research Wales, the black tie event celebrated winners from NHS, industry and academia.

OBS Cymru won the Efficiency Through Technology – High Impact category due to their work improving outcomes for women experiencing postpartum haemorrhage.

OBS Cymru Welsh Clinical Leadership Fellow Dr Kathryn James attended the awards and said she was delighted with the recognition for the project. Dr James said:Thanks to every individual across Wales who has contributed to this All Wales Quality Improvement Project. We are also very grateful for the support of The Bevan Commission as well as the seven Welsh Health Boards, 1000 Lives, Wales Maternity Network, Werfen, Wales Deanery and C&V Finance and IT.”

She added: “We are all working together to reduce harm from Postpartum Haemorrhage.”

Following the launch of the project in November 2016, which has been supported by the Bevan Commission, four pillars of Postpartum Haemorrhage management have been rolled out across Wales, in all 12 consultant-led delivery suites. These include routine risk assessment, early identification of abnormal blood loss and routine measurement, appropriate multidisciplinary team working and point of care guided blood product administration.

The project is multidisciplinary and has reached out to all maternity settings in Wales. Every unit has a champion team consisting of a midwife, obstetrician, anaesthetists and haematologist who have led local change, supported by the national team.

This project is promoting All Wales working with regards to Postpartum Haemorrhage Management. In addition to this as an early success to the project, we have undertaken two process audit cycles of measurement of blood loss. Data indicates that this has increased from around 50% to 80% of deliveries across all consultant-led delivery suites.

This is a substantial improvement showing that the project has already changed the early team behaviour and management of post-partum haemorrhage. A national staff survey also revealed 87% of staff felt that OBS Cymru had changed their individual unit’s management of postpartum haemorrhage.

Other winners on the night included the NHS Wales Collaboration with Industry award which went to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board’s department of Diabetes and Swansea University Diabetes Research Group for their collaborative clinical trials with companies of all sizes, and ABMU with Swansea University’s Medical school also picked up the Research Excellence in the NHS award for their clinical trial that explored the use of the AliveCor Kardia mobile device to detect atrial fibrillation, which is a common cause of stroke.

Lymphoedema Network Wales received the Innovation within NHS Wales award thanks to their on-the-ground education project, enabling community nurses to gain knowledge and learn skills around lymphoedema and chronic oedema. The final NHS award, the Judges’ Award, was won by the NHS Wales Informatics Choose Pharmacy Team, who are increasing the availability of a new system that allows GPS and community pharmacists to share patient information.

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