The 2015 results were announced at the Ophthalmology Honours ceremony on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. The ceremony was hosted by OBE and veteran of the British Army, Simon Weston, and the awards were presented by the ceremony host and judging panel.
Best ophthalmology team
An ‘A TEAM’ qualitative approach
This small, cohesive team demonstrated a clear and unified aim of providing excellence in patient care; taking a unique, whole team approach. Their over-riding ethos of motivation, support, teamwork, family and togetherness has clearly resulted in a special environment for patients and the ophthalmology team. The service delivers ophthalmic services to a population of approximately 465,000; delivering 65,000 out-patient appointments, and over 4,430 theatre-based operations per annum. Provision of all care is provided in one in-patient ward, five out-patient areas across the region, and two theatres.
“This team has a unique, whole team approach to care and this is clearly a very special environment to work in. The staff at NHS Tayside clearly feel valued; the support provided to them is excellent and team members’ well-being is a clear priority as the level of pastoral care provided is unique among entries. The ethos of team and the way they work together is excellent, they are making a real difference to patients’ lives. This is a great way of planning for the future and this team will carry on developing as they are really well managed.”
The diabetic team keep an eye on the traffic lights
Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust
This diabetic ophthalmology team clearly worked tirelessly to achieve their aim of “getting from red to green”; turning an under-performing service around to improve patient experience, deliver a safe and timely service that meets national standards and to cement the hospital as a centre of excellence. To combat the challenges faced, the team implemented various initiatives that varied from reducing DNA rates to improving team work; re-evaluating and adapting these initiatives as required. The improvement in performance and robust practices implemented were commended during an External Quality Assurance visit in May 2015.
“This team did a great job getting to grips with this big, clinically important area. They have implemented change well; managing to successfully turn this service around. The description of how they did it and what they achieved was excellent; they clearly met their objectives.”
Medical Retina and AMD service lead by Mr Ramu Muniraju
Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
This team demonstrated flexibility by adapting a busy two-stop service into a successful one-stop service that delivered improved patient experience and community education. The development of clinical proformas, protocols and guidelines were clearly valuable to the service redesign. The judges commended the real-world-data and patient satisfaction achieved by the service.
Effectiveness of Anti-VEGF service delivery via multidisciplinary team
Gloucester Royal Hospital
This team demonstrated a good multi-disciplinary approach to delivering a successful one-stop anti-VEGF service; developing a “pod” structured outpatient clinic to allow maximum use of staffing resource within the department to deliver a high quality and clinically consistent service. The team has a quality approach to effective working and the judges commended the aspect of patient support demonstrated by the low vision certification.
Ophthalmology multidisciplinary team specialising in facial palsy at
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
The facial palsy service at this local hospital is unique in being a centre of excellence in the UK for management of all aspects of facial palsy. The ophthalmology specialist team demonstrated innovation and collaborative working; driving care forward in this specialist area while really making a difference to patients’ lives. This team is a good example of multi-professional working and received high praise from the judges for networking and providing an unusual service.
Best patient support or education initiative
Worcestershire glaucoma support group and educational website: supported patients support local eye department
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
This Glaucoma Support Group aims to provide education and support to patients with glaucoma to improve compliance and adherence with treatment; providing them with patient to-patient interaction and networking. The achievements of the group not only includes fantastic patient engagement and fundraising, but better quality ophthalmology care and lower spend on vision than national averages.
“As judges we felt that there were several interesting aspects to this superbly patient-centred service. The feedback from patients benefitting from this service is outstanding. We recognise that as we move into tougher times there is an increasing need for this kind of initiative and that patient support groups are hugely important. This initiative combines face-to-face support with the use of new media on a website which makes it more engaging for patients. It also allows them the opportunity to revisit content time and time again giving much needed time to absorb the information being provided. Congratulations!”
The Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People (VINCYP): a multi-professional national model for Scotland, and a potential model to ensure optimal service delivery for visually impaired children internationally
National Health Service Scotland
This network, supported by the National Managed Clinical Network Service (NHS Scotland), aims to deliver consistent evidence-driven approaches to investigation, diagnosis, management and education by accurate early identification and referral of blind and visually impaired children to community services. It is clear that the network brings together all key elements in order to deliver improved referral pathways for children directly from healthcare services to educational and rehabilitation services.
“This initiative offers an impressive, cohesive plan for children. The objectives and strategy for the network are clear and it is already impacting positively on care delivery. This is a worthwhile initiative and broad implementation will benefit patients significantly.”
A new integrated patient support service in Royal Alexandra Hospital, Renfrewshire
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Visibility
This patient support service is an excellent example of partnership working between a Trust, patient group and local council. It is clear that this service offers good patient support and the judges were impressed with the ethos of an integrated approach between NHS Eye Department staff, the local authority and the patient group to provide a holistic service to patients, families and carers.
Best ophthalmology care innovation
The EMAC (Emergency Macula) OCT triage service for urgent macula referrals
Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
This innovation in care for urgent macula referrals addresses an important challenge currently experienced across the UK in terms of delivering on national guidelines. This flexible model involving a walk-in service, a ‘virtual’ review process, new guidelines and rapid treatment sessions ensures that patients are seen and appropriately managed extremely quickly. This straightforward model improves on existing rapid access referral guidelines, with other hospitals already showing interest learning from the protocols and experience of implementation.
“This was a tough decision for the judges. There were some great examples of local innovation entered into the awards this year but there was one stand-out winner in terms of demonstrating innovation nationally. This initiative really has addressed an urgent problem which is the need for a rapid wet AMD service referral. Although this initiative was only implemented in May this year so results are limited, all judges agreed that this was a winning entry based on the excellent initial results demonstrated by this innovative, new approach. During our discussions, one of the judges commented “I thought about doing this but they’ve actually managed it, good on them.”
Ophthalmology unsung hero
The NHS employs a multitude of non-clinical staff working to ensure the smooth-running of organisations and improve patient experience. This award is to recognise an unsung hero who demonstrates excellence in all aspects of their role while making an outstanding contribution to patient experience.
Janet Sear, Medical Secretary
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
It was clear to the judges that Janet is an extremely valued member of the team and that the service would struggle to cope without her as she clearly has a huge role to play in the smooth running of everything. Janet’s communication and relationships with patients are outstanding and it is evident that she has a huge influence over patient experience.
“Janet is the kingpin co-ordinating the service in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. She links the service together, acts as a gateway for complaints, supports patients and trainees. She demonstrates loyalty, team working, and has great interpersonal skills. Janet is the definition of everything that an unsung hero is and the team at Stoke Mandeville Hospital are lucky to have her!”
Debbie Smith, Retinal Suite Co-ordinator
Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust
The level of patient care offered by Debbie is clearly high, meaning patients’ have a positive experience when visiting the service. It is clear that Debbie is dedicated to the service and it is evident that she is respected by her peers. The service provided in Colchester is more efficient thanks to her.
“Debbie is clearly an integral part of the team in Colchester and plays an influential role; not only in terms of her relationships with patients but also the support she offers to colleagues. The judges were impressed with her commitment and conscientiousness and the impact that this has on the entire service.”
Outstanding ophthalmology nurse or allied health professional
Terri Wainman, Out-patient Sister Ophthalmology
Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust
It is clear that Terri’s contribution to the development of the service, such as leading the scoping of two “spoke” sites for the main eye clinic, has been outstanding. Her excellent leadership has clearly made a huge difference to the whole department and the judges were impressed that she could maintain this level of leadership while still always being available.
“Terri is clearly a dynamic person who makes a real difference to the whole department. She demonstrates excellent leadership and it’s really impressive for one person to lead these initiatives and the development of the service and to still always be available when staff need her!”
Ruth McKenzie, Optometrist Principal
The innovative, proactive and flexible approach that Ruth takes to her practice is impressive and clearly hugely benefits the service. The judges were impressed with her drive to secure clearance from the College of Optometrists to receive training to administer anti-VEGF injections. Ruth’s commitment, perseverance and ability to overcome all hurdles to set the precedence is laudable.
“Ruth’s progression is unique; she clearly demonstrates innovation and flexibility and is a pioneer in her field. Approaching authorities to change protocol is unusual and an achievement. Ruth is clearly a great team player and has an impact on patient care via the service she is delivering.”
Catriona Neville, Extended Scope Practitioner in Facial Palsy
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
It was clear that Catriona has a life-changing impact on patient care and patient experience; this was evident in the very passionate nomination from one of her patients. The judges were impressed with Catriona’s communication and commitment to her patients. She is clearly an integral member of this successful team that has demonstrated innovative and collaborative working.
Emma Austin, Refractionist
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Emma clearly goes the extra mile for her patients and also her service. She has built her contribution to the department and demonstrates her commitment by offering impromptu teaching sessions. Emma has a caring attitude to her patients and this was demonstrated by great patient feedback. One of the judges commented "I'd want her on my team"
Judges' Special Award
Improving outcomes for patients with thyroid eye disease (TED) through prevention, early diagnosis and early intervention
Thyroid Eye Disease Amsterdam Declaration Implementation Group UK (TEAMeD)
This innovative service provides thorough, good quality information for patients, preventive measures, early diagnosis, timely access to care and promotion of research in the field. It is clear that patients really benefit from this service and the performance of the team is outstanding and has the potential for global impact.
“This is a fantastic team providing fantastic care. It is an amazing initiative which doesn’t quite fit into any single category in this year’s awards but it has strong aspects of each of the three group categories and so all of the judging panel agreed that this entry should be recognised and awarded the Judges’ Special Award. The performance of this team is outstanding and a thorough service is being provided which is something that patients will really benefit from. We believe that one day every Trust will be using their guidelines.”