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RCP Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2017 winners announced

The winners of the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) Excellence in Patient Care Awards were announced at Medicine 2017, the RCP's annual conference.

The conference dinner and awards ceremony celebrated the impressive work that RCP members and fellows are doing that contributes to excellent patient care. Winners received an RCP Excellence in Patient Care Award plaque, as well as an award of £1,000. 

Professor Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, said: 

It has been a privilege to see examples of doctors at all levels working together to improve the care that we give our patients, both in the UK and around the world. At a time when our profession is under increasing pressure, it is particularly important for us to recognise and celebrate the work that you, our members and fellows, do to improve patient care. 

Winners of the Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2017


Professor Geeta Menon – Setting up diabetic retinopathy screening in the Copperbelt province in Zambia

Why did they win?

Since 2011, Frimley Park Hospital Eye Unit and the Kitwe Central Hospital Eye Unit in Zambia have worked together to develop and implement a diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening programme in the Copperbelt province in Zambia, providing improvements in the management of DR, which is the leading cause of blindess in working age people in the developing world. The judges were impressed by the reach and scale of this project, the fact that it has resulted in modernisation of practice and its multiprofessional dimension. In addition, the teams have developed a good model for further development and plan further expansion.

Medical education and training

Department of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India – Diabetes care in Asia and Africa

Why did they win?

This project involved educating healthcare professionals as well as raising public awareness about diabetes. The team’s innovative, multiprofessional approach and use of blended learning were particularly commended by the judges, who agreed that the scale and reach of this project were very impressive indeed.

Quality improvement

Newcastle Liver Unit – Development of a care bundle for patients admitted with decompensated cirrhosis

Why did they win?

This project tackled a group of patients who have rapidly risen in number in recent decades – those admitted to hospital with decompensated cirrhosis. These patients continue to have a high mortality rate.

In tackling an important problem, addressing care gaps, demonstrating impact and feasibility and in moving well beyond its initial development site, the project hits all the criteria for this award. We hope that others will import the care bundle for their own use on the back of the additional recognition that this award might bring.

Patient-centred care

Dr Pippa Medcalf – Hospital homeless healthcare

Why did they win?

This innovative scheme was able to help identify homeless patients – often those attending the acute hospital repeatedly and becoming trapped in the system or being discharged back to the streets. Only a handful of hospitals in England have a dedicated homeless team working in acute care. This genuinely person-centred innovation has proved ‘win/win’ for a neglected and vulnerable group of patients, for hospital teams and for efficient use of scarce acute beds – successfully reducing lengths of stay, improving staff understanding and compassion for homeless patients, and resulting in 84% of homeless patients being housed on discharge.


The Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) Team – Development of the electronic frailty index (eFI) 

Why did they win?

The eFI represents a major, innovative advance in the care of older people because, for the first time, it enables identification of frailty using existing primary care data without the need for a resource-intensive clinical assessment. The eFI has been implemented in the leading UK primary care electronic health record systems and so is available across the UK. The reach and impact of this project is illustrated by the fact that the research paper was the most downloaded and cited paper in the journal Age and Ageing in 2016. 

The Lancet research award

Orthopaedic supportive discharge (OSD) team, Ashford and St Peter's NHS Foundation Trust – Home is where our journey begins: 2 years’ impact of an orthopaedic early supportive discharge (OSD) team in our hip fracture service

Why did they win?

This team’s research looked into a common clinical problem – caring for patients with a fractured neck of femur – and tested out an early supportive discharge strategy involving a multidisciplinary team in the hospital and in the community. They sought patient involvement and feedback and demonstrated the clear outcomes and impact of the strategy. Overall, a substantial number of bed days and their associated costs were saved, and patients were highly likely to recommend the strategy.

Contribution to the profession

Dr Nawal Elkurdufani

Why did they win?

Dr Elkurdufani was the first female cardiologist in Sudan and has worked tirelessly throughout her career to improve cardiology services and the profile of female physicians in her country. Her achievements are a credit to all physicians and she fully deserves her award. The RCP is proud to have her as a fellow.

Lifetime achievement

Professor Barry Cookson

Why did they win?

What impressed us about Professor Cookson was that his career achievements include so many things that we now take for granted, such as the importance of MRSA carriage, quality control in microbiology, healthcare-associated infections and hand hygiene. His name is not as well recognised as it should be among his fellow physicians and we hope that this award will change that.

The RCP thanked everyone who took the time to enter or nominate for the 2017 awards, and congratulated all of those teams and individuals that were shortlisted.

The Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2018 will open later this year. All enquires about the 2017 or 2018 awards should be sent to awards@rcplondon.ac.uk.

Notes to editors

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