A year in the life of AQuA: Tom Jenks

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Dec 11 2019 Blogs

As we near the end of the year, we start to think back on the months gone by, and having time to reflect on the year offers us the opportunity to celebrate achievements, learn some lessons and reassess for the New Year.

Over the next couple of weeks, some of our programme leads will be sharing their reflections on 2019, covering the expert work that AQuA have done to support our members and customers on their improvement journeys and what they’re looking forward to in 2020.

Our next blog is from Tom Jenks. Tom is our Senior Business Intelligence Analyst and works on our long standing reliability of care programme, Advancing Quality (AQ).

We’ve had a busy year in AQ. Alongside supporting quality improvement work in our clinical focus areas, we took on some exciting new projects and explored innovative ways to take the programme forward.

Our clinical focus areas are alcohol related liver disease (ARLD), acute kidney injury (AKI), hip and knee replacement, pneumonia and sepsis. We work with trusts to collect data and produce reports highlighting good practice and potential improvement opportunities, promoting high quality care and better outcomes for patients. We hold regular collaborative events, bringing together communities of practice from across the north-west and beyond. Previously, we’ve taken one focus area at a time and we still do this for hip and knee replacement and ARLD. We’ve come to realise, however, that sepsis, pneumonia and AKI can’t be considered in isolation. Patients can have two or even all of these conditions during a hospital stay and mortality is high. Our Detection and Response event on 11th October took a cross-condition and inter-disciplinary approach, bringing together more than eighty delegates with two keynotes and eighteen breakout sessions. It was an ambitious event, but we felt it was a big success. We got great feedback and lots of engagement and we’re already planning our next event in May 2020.

Another key piece of work in 2019 was our hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) programme. HAP is a highly prevalent condition with high mortality, but we don’t fully understand how patients develop it and how best to care for them when they do. There’s little in the way of guidance or research. We collected data from eight hospitals which we’re now analysing. Our Clinical Expert Group will meet in January 2020 to develop a clinical measure set. We’ll be holding a further Clinical Expert Group in the New Year to review our ARLD measure set in light of the new Cirrhosis Care Bundle specialist CQUIN and the Improving Quality in Liver Services (IQILS) programmes.

AQ consultancy work this year included collaborating with Health Education England on case studies showcasing improvement work for sepsis and a major new anti-microbial resistance (AMR) programme in association with Public Health England. AMR is a developing health crisis that will cause significant loss of life if not tackled. We’re working with teams in primary and secondary care to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescription and Gram-negative bloodstream infections. We’re also working with Connecting Health Cities on ARLD and undertaking exploratory work with Vision Health to reduce AKI and pneumonia readmissions by joining up GP, community and secondary care data.

Add to this our award nominations from the Patient Safety Congress for our hip and knee replacement and AKI programmes, another nomination for AKI from the Health Service Journal and our on-going COPD work with north-west trusts and the Innovation Agency and it’s been a packed 12 months. We look forward to 2020 and the new opportunities it will bring.

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