Posted on Wednesday 19 March 2014
Staff from our A&E team
A training programme for NHS staff dealing with strokes and an initiative to reduce A&E waiting times have been shortlisted for the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards.
The BMJ Awards recognise and celebrate the inspirational work done by doctors and their colleagues. The winners will be announced on Thursday 8 May.
The Simulation and Interactive Learning (SaIL) Centre team has been shortlisted in the Education category for a unique training programme that aims to save lives and reduce the lasting effects of strokes on survivors.
Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK– 53,000 people die each year after suffering a stroke.
Dr Jonathan Birns, stroke consultant, says: “The team from Guy’s and St Thomas’ runs training in simulation centres across London. We use lifelike manikins to simulate a patient following a stroke. The manikins are controlled by simulation centre staff who can adjust everything from oxygen saturation and blood pressure levels to blinking and speaking.”
Over the past decade, stroke care has changed considerably and there has been a change in thinking that stroke is not a medical emergency to the realisation that patients who suffer a stroke need to be treated immediately.
Dr Birns adds: “With new demands on stroke units, we felt that a simulation training programme would create a realistic environment for doctors and nurses to practise their roles without posing a risk to acutely unwell patients.”
Improving A&E waiting times
The A&E team has been shortlisted in the Emergency Medicine category for reducing the number of people waiting in the A&E department and consistently achieving the target to treat at least 95% of patients within four hours in the department at St Thomas'.
The team has developed a new way of monitoring the number of patients coming through A&E.
Dr Katherine Henderson, a consultant in emergency medicine and the department’s clinical lead, says: “We know that having too many people waiting for treatment in A&E is bad for patient care. We monitor how many patients are in the department at any one time and at two-hourly meetings we identify big increases in patients coming in or any delay in leaving the department.
“We know the maximum numbers we can have in the department for it to function well or when it is likely to become gridlocked. We use the information to re-distribute staff to the areas of need. This means that we have time to respond before problems arise.”
TheBMJ Awards recognise and celebrate the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams. The winners will be announced on Thursday 8 May.