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Acute Kidney Injury Team Shortlisted for National Award

Stephen Gulliford and Suzanne WilsonNewsdate: 11 April 2016 

WWL is happy to announce that our Acute Kidney Injury Team have been shortlisted for an HSJ Value in Healthcare Award.

The HSJ (Health Service Journal) is a weekly news print title on the National Health Service and is aimed at health professionals. Its Value in Healthcare Awards aim to recognise NHS organisations that are providing improved, efficient services for their patients.

The Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) team has been shortlisted in the Specialist Service Category. They have been invited to a judging day at the HSJ head offices in London, where they will make a presentation outlining the reasons why they should win the award. AKI is an abrupt loss of kidney function that develops suddenly within 7 days.

Their judging day will take place on Wednesday 13 April. The actual awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 24 May at Manchester Central, Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX.

Our AKI team’s success has been down to incredible progress being made over a number of years. In 2009, AKI was identified as a national problem as a result of an NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death) report. This resulted in a national audit being conducted in 2012 as part of the National NHS Kidney Care AKI Audit.

Unfortunately, WWL’s results in the audit were not what we had hoped for. They found that we were performing below the national average on issues such as medication reviews and patient mortality rates 1 month after being diagnosed with severe AKI. It was clear that action needed to be taken.

As a result, the decision was made to establish a dedicated AKI Specialist Service. The new service was launched in May 2014 and our patients have been reaping the benefits ever since. Among the substantial improvements the service has made are:

  • Significantly reduced mortality rate.
  • Improved length of stay.
  • Improved morbidity.
  • A reduction overall of stage 3 AKI patients. Stage 3 is the third and most severe stage of AKI.

Part of the success of the service has been the intelligent way it has been run. The service is run by a Medical Consultant, Dr Stephen Gulliford, and an Acute Kidney Specialist Nurse in Suzanne Wilson. A huge priority of the service is AKI education, not just for patients, but also for our staff. A teaching programme was developed for staff to raise awareness of AKI and thus provide the first stepping stone to ensure the success of the service. This also increased awareness of the service amongst other medical staff.

There was also the recruitment of AKI ward champions who could distribute ward-based learning. This coincided with drop-in sessions being held on wards that reached over 450 WWL staff. In addition to this staff training, there were also informative leaflets that were given out to patients.

The increased knowledge of other health staff at WWL means that there is much earlier recognition of AKI, meaning more efficient referral to the service which leads to earlier review, early treatment and early recovery and discharge.

Due to the success of our AKI team, WWL has been contacted by other Trusts throughout England who are looking to establish a similar service. Not many other Trusts in England currently offer a specialised AKI service. The team are also looking to expand, to enable follow-up clinics to take place and also to reach out to Primary Care with in-house education for GP practice nurses and nursing home staff.

Both Suzanne Wilson and Dr Stephen Gulliford are delighted with the progress the service has made since its launch in 2014. They said, “We are very pleased to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. When we launched the AKI service we faced a number of challenges. We have since met those challenges and have improved our Trust’s performance relating to AKI as a result. This has brought about positive change for our patients which is more important than anything else. I would like to thank the team for their dedicated and compassionate work.”