Innovative patient care shortlisted for top medical awards

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Innovative patient care shortlisted for top medical awards

An initiative to support dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a screening system that improves psychological care for patients with skin disease have both been shortlisted for the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards.

The first shortlisting recognises the work of a team of clinicians and academics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London who researched and implemented a new dietary management approach for IBS known as the low FODMAP diet.

The team has been shortlisted for implementing and evaluating the outcome of this approach and training more than 15% of the UK dietetic workforce to promote the diet. As a result, the low FODMAP diet is now part of both NICE guidelines and British Dietetic Association guidelines for the management of IBS.

Dr Miranda Lomer, consultant dietitian in gastroenterology, says: “Managing IBS through dietary changes was once seen as an unrealistic approach but the low FODMAP diet has led to significant benefits for many of our patients.

“We’re really excited to have our work recognised in this way and we hope that highlighting the success of the diet means that more people will become aware of how it could help them live with IBS.”  

The second shortlisting highlights St John’s Institute of Dermatology staff who have introduced a new screening system to improve the psychological support of patients with skin disease.

Because patients with severe psoriasis or eczema often have low self esteem or depression, the team applied the IMPARTS (Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare: Research Training and Service) system developed by King’s Health Partners, an Academic Health Science Centre where world-class research, education and clinical practice are brought together for the benefit of patients.

When patients are in the waiting room for their dermatology appointment, they use a tablet computer to complete a screening questionnaire which is designed to reveal any psychological issues, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, so that appropriate support and treatment can be arranged.

Professor Catherine Smith, consultant dermatologist at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, says: “Skin disease is a highly stigmatising condition and we know that many of our patients undergo psychological distress.

“Since introducing the screening system we’ve been able to identify and help patients with this important aspect of their care. This is a significant service improvement for our patients.”  

The winners of the BMJ Awards will be announced on Thursday 5 May. 

Last updated: May 2016

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