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Barts Health wins at BMJ Awards

The exceptional work by doctors and clinical teams at Barts Health was recognised this week at the BMJ Awards.

The night saw our Violence Reduction Trauma team from The Royal London Hospital take home the award for Prevention and Lifestyle Team of the Year, and two other teams highly commended for the difference they make to patients.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar DBE from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, also received the very special BMJ award for Outstanding Contribution to Health.

The Violence Reduction Trauma team from The Royal London Hospital took home the award for Prevention and Lifestyle Team of the Year at this year’s BMJ Awards. The BMJ Awards, held on Wednesday 24 April, are the UK’s premier medical awards programme, designed to recognise the exceptional work done by doctors and their clinical teams around the UK.

The team was awarded for their work in setting up an intervention programme aimed at preventing and reducing  violence, including knife crime.

“The award represents everything to our team. We've spent four years developing this service and are delighted to see our efforts recognised. We'd like to thank the amazing trauma service for supporting us, our patients for trusting us and Jackie Sullivan, Alwen Williams and Anne Weaver for their tremendous leadership,” says Martin Griffiths, consultant vascular and trauma surgeon at The Royal London Hospital.

The Whipps Cross Hospital Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) service and The Royal London Children’s Anorectal Physiology Service (CAPS) were also awarded with ‘highly commended’ in their respective categories.

Funlayo Odejinmi, Divisional Director for Women’s and Children’s Health at Whipps Cross Hospital reflects, “the award is a testament to the team’s dedication and commitment both to our patients and to Whipps Cross and is an example of how to set up a service from scratch with no funding.”

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar DBE from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, also received the very special BMJ award for Outstanding Contribution to Health.

Violence reduction project, Royal London Hospital

The Royal London Hospital is the busiest unit in western Europe for penetrating trauma. “We admit, on average, two stabbings a day and see around ten assaults a day in our Emergency Department,” says Martin Griffiths. 

Data collected at Barts Health shows that 97% of stab injuries are sustained by males, 70% of them from the most deprived quintile of the population, and 56% are aged under 25. “We were seeing a population of young angry people who had good clinical results, but around a third of them would be readmitted within five years for another injury,” says Martin. “Patients don’t just need sewing up, they need supporting,” he adds. 

The team set up a ward based intervention programme in conjunction with  charity St Giles Trust, launching their SOS project aimed at preventing future re-attendance with further injury. From hospital admission, case workers support the patients and their families by carrying out a needs based assessment and providing practical help. 

This support, which continues for up to six months, can include help with education, training, court appearances, and housing. 

The case workers are fully integrated with the trauma service; they take part in ward rounds and are involved in discharge planning. In the 18 month reporting period between 2015 and 2017, the service engaged with 525 patients. The re-attendance rates for people engaging with the service decreased to 1% from 35%.

 It has also resulted in a calmer atmosphere on the wards. Patients are more likely to accept clinical care and feel more supported by the staff, says Martin.

Children’s Anorectal Physiology Service (CAPS), Royal London Hospital

There is a large population of children with chronic constipation who require adequate care says Stewart Cleve, paediatric surgeon at The Royal London Hospital. “They are in a cycle of fearing defecation, have a poor quality of life, and are often bullied and not attending school.”

The team set up a children’s anorectal physiology service with a multidisciplinary team approach involving a psychologist, clinical nurse specialist, physiologist, gastroenterologist and paediatric surgeon. “It has transformed what we can offer patients in terms of diagnosis and treatment”, says Stewart.

When patients were asked to score the severity of their symptoms they improved with the new service and 100% of the patients said they found the service useful. “It felt that these children were previously stuck in a cycle where there were no investigations and they weren’t offered anything new,” says Stewart. “The combination of physical and psychological treatment has allowed us to break that cycle.”

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) service, Whipps Cross Hospital

At Whipps Cross Hospital a dedicated team provide a walk-in service with staff who are specially trained in caring for women who have experienced being cut.

The team provides 'dignified and supportive' care to women who are experiencing symptoms, as well as to women who are pregnant and those wishing to have a cervical smear test.  Mental health support, information and advice is also available.

Run by Barts Health NHS Trust alongside Waltham Forest CCG and Waltham Forest Council, the dedicated clinic includes a specialist gynaecologist, midwife, psycho-social practitioner, a sample taker and access to interpreters.

Reeba Oliver, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Barts Health NHS Trust who runs the clinics said: “We offer a specialist service for FGM survivors, particularly those who avoid having a cervical screening test because of the fear that a vaginal examination evokes due to the psychological trauma they have experienced.

“FGM has serious health consequences that go into adulthood; there are long-term emotional, psychological and physical effects from the damage caused. I strongly encourage women in the borough to use the service where they will be treated with support, dignity and understanding.”

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar DBE

Professor Kumar, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Professor of Medicine and Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London was awarded the BMJ Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health.

Professor Kumar has many other notable achievements and is currently the President of the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund which helps to support doctors, medical students and their families.

In the past, she has been President of the British Medical Association, President of the Royal Society of Medicine, President of Medical Women's Federation, and academic vice president of the Royal College of Physicians. She was the Chair of the Medicines Commission UK and a founding non-executive Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

In 2017, she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to medicine and medical education.



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