Somerset health care partners shortlisted for prestigious award

Date: 23 September 2015

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Clinical Commission Group (CCG), have jointly been shortlisted in the Primary Care Innovation​ category in the 2015 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, to be held on 18 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, is the largest celebration of excellence in UK healthcare, highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector.

This year, over 600 organisations submitted over 1600 entries. The shortlisted organisations will now present to a judging panel made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector. 

Alastair McLellan, Editor, HSJ, said: "The NHS is experiencing one of the toughest periods in its 67 year history, with demand and expectation rising and funding in short supply. The fact that the HSJ Awards has seen the biggest ever increase in entries shows the service remains undaunted in its mission to provide world beating patient care."

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and debilitating condition, which places significant pressure on the NHS; both in terms of financial cost and strain on primary and secondary care. The total attributable cost of IBS in the UK was almost £12 million for 2012-13. Research suggests better education on the diagnosis and management of IBS, along with an effective treatment pathway, would not only lead to direct savings, but also allow gastroenterology services to target resources more effectively.

Musgrove Park Hospital’s collaborative entry with Somerset Partnership, Yeovil District Hospital and Somerset CCG, is a great example of partnership working and the difference it can make to services across Somerset. The project entitled ‘Innovating cost effective management for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) across Somerset: The Case for Change’, has recently been published within the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Local Practice Collection: www.nice.org.uk/sharedlearning/improving-evidence-based-management-of-irritable-bowel-syndrome-across-somerset

By working together the organisations have created a multidisciplinary gastroenterology clinical team, with representatives from primary and secondary care to create effective IBS diagnosis and treatment pathways for GPs in the county. Within its first year of operation this new model has already shown appreciable reductions in secondary care referrals. Instead of invasive and unnecessary investigation, we have used non-invasive tests and accurate assessment of symptoms. For those patients with likely IBS, Somerset has invested in specialist community dietetics services to provide an individualised diet and lifestyle approach to symptom management with 74% of patients reporting an increased quality of life using this approach.

Pictured from left to right are:

Bottom row:             

Dr Emma Greig, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (FT)

Marianne Williams, Specialist Community Gastroenterology Dietitian, Somerset Partnership NHS FT.

Top row:

Dr Iain Phillips, General Practitioner and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group,

Leah Seamark, Specialist Community Gastroenterology Dietitian, Somerset Partnership NHS FT

Dr Steve Gore, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Yeovil District NHS FT

Yvonne Barclay, Community Dietetics Manager, Somerset Partnership NHS FT

Steve Thole, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, General Practitioner and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.