A collaborative programme to prevent heart attacks and strokes in north east London has won Medicines, Pharmacy and Prescribing Initiative of the Year at the HSJ Awards 2023. The winners were announced at a ceremony on 16 November.
The collaborative team - from Barts Health NHS Trust, North East London Integrated Care Board, the Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) at Queen Mary University of London, and UCLPartners - developed a novel pathway to identify people at risk of heart attack and stroke and ensure they are prescribed the most suitable medications. Specialist pharmacists use CEG’s software tools to list at-risk patients and prioritise them for review. The team focus on lowering cholesterol (using lipid modification) and preventing blood clots (using anticoagulants), with an advice service led by specialist cardiac pharmacists to discuss complex cases.
The approach has increased prescription rates for anticoagulant medication in at-risk patients from 88% to 94% - well above the national target of 90%. The programme is also improving access to new therapies and often means people can be treated closer to home without the need for a hospital referral.
The initiative has brought together a multidisciplinary team of hospital consultants and GPs, who work with pharmacists across primary and secondary care to ensure comprehensive and coordinated care.
HSJ Awards judges praised the “extremely clear ambition and need" and "impressive commitment to sustainability, scalability and reducing inequalities." The award adds to the programme’s prior recognition, including first place in the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2023 and an HSJ Patient Safety Award shortlisting in 2022.