Dorset’s integrated care system (ICS), Our Dorset, has been shortlisted in five categories for this year’s HSJ Awards, including two nominations for Integrated Care System of the Year.

The HSJ Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of health care across the UK. Of the 1067 entries for this year’s awards, 219 projects and individuals made it to the final shortlist, including the five Our Dorset projects.

Chair of Dorset ICS, Jenni Douglas-Todd, said: “Establishing a new ICS during challenging times for health and care is both daunting and full of hope, so we are delighted that our commitment and examples of partnership working have resulted in being shortlisted for a number of these awards.”

NHS Dorset Chief Executive Patricia Miller added: “I am delighted to see the Dorset Integrated Care System nominated for several awards. This is testament to the dedication, hard work, and commitment of the teams across the system whilst working in very challenging times. These projects are wonderful examples of the collaborative working across the county to better meet the needs of our local communities.”

ICS of the Year: Medical Examiner Programme

Dorset’s Medical Examiner (ME) programme, which includes health organisations from across the ICS, reviews deaths in hospitals and the community. It allows hospital and primary care staff to follow the same processes when reviewing deaths, providing a better service to the families of those who have died and the opportunity for them to raise any concerns.c

Becky Protopsaltis, Lead Medical Examiner Officer at the East Dorset Medical Examiner Service, said: “It is a great honour and a privilege for the ME Programme to have been shortlisted for an HSJ award. Since 2019, the Dorset CCG Medical Examiner Programme group have worked closely together to develop and streamline the Medical Examiner service in Dorset, firstly to independently scrutinise deaths in an acute inpatient setting and latterly to expand the service out to primary care, scrutinising deaths occurring in the community.

“Through collaborative working across our ICS partners we have been able to implement an effective single county-wide service that improves the accuracy and completion of death certification across Dorset, and which provides a vehicle to raise patient safety concerns with relevant agencies at an early stage. Most importantly, the service places the bereaved at the very centre of the process, giving them information about their loved one’s deaths in a straightforward, easy to understand way, and also a voice to independently raise their concerns where needed.”

ICS of the Year: Dorset ICS and Arts University Bournemouth Partnership

Our Dorset has worked closely with University Hospitals Dorset and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) to develop the Think Big idea, working with the Year 1 students to support the design of an outpatients assessment clinic in the Dolphin Centre at Poole. Our Dorset colleagues also delivered specialist lectures to the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design course. The aim is to help students understand the health and social care needs of the people of Dorset, and for Our Dorset to think differently in the way it designs and delivers care.

Ashleigh Boreham, Deputy Director of Design and Transformation at NHS Dorset said: “The project has allowed us to integrate the students with clinicians, healthcare planners, the community, architects, the construction industry and the community in the co-design and co-production of the new facility. As active partners immersed in the project, they have gained insight into community health needs, which has influenced their ideas for the design of future health spaces, and we at NHS Dorset have been energised by their commitment, passion and drive to make people’s connection with where they receive care a positive experience which promotes wellness.”

Students from AUB said: “Working on the outpatient assessment clinic was an enriching opportunity. Witnessing the impact the outpatient assessment clinic is having on people’s lives is very inspiring as young designers. We are proud to have contributed to this new approach to healthcare.”

Digitising Patient Care: BP@Home

The BP@Home project identifies people most at-risk from hypertensive-related health conditions and helps them to self-manage their blood pressure at home with remote monitoring, education and support from healthcare professionals. The aim of the project is to help people better understand, manage and consequently improve their long-term health condition.

Louise Bell, Advanced Nurse Practioner at the Bridges Medical Centre and BP@Home Lead and Digital Nursing Fellow said: “There has been a significant reduction in high blood pressure from hypertensive patients in Dorset since using the app and we have had a 45% reduction in patient appointments relating to blood pressure, saving time for both them and their GP. We know that this can make a real difference to people’s lives. Patients who have been trialling this technology have told us that using this app has encouraged them to make improvements to their health.”

Performance Recovery: Dorset Health Village

The ‘Think Big’ outpatients assessment centres at Dorset Health Village were developed with organisations from across the ICS in response to growing waiting lists and staff challenges in the wake of Covid-19. The aim was to enable people to be seen more quickly in a convenient location within the community.

We worked with University Hospitals Dorset and Dorset County Hospital to develop outpatient assessment centres in the Dolphin Centre in Poole and South Walks House in Dorchester.

Dr Ruth Williamson, Acting Chief Medical Officer at the University Hospitals Dorset, said: “On 1 March 2021, we talked about creating a new space to see the patients whose care had been delayed by Covid-19. By the end of the year we had a fully functioning 16 room clinic, specialist eye investigation suite and a breast screening unit, and had stepped up to be a vaccination centre too. What we learned about working across traditional boundaries, clinically-led redesign and teamworking at pace will benefit our local patients and residents for years to come.”

Using Data to Connect Services Award: Transforming COPD patient experience through data and digital initiative

Using the Dorset Intelligence & Insight Service (DiiS), which shares live health and social care data across the ICS, this project allowed healthcare professionals to identify and monitor people living with COPD at greater risk of hospitalisation. They could then invite people to use a digital self-management tool (myCOPD), empowering people to better understand and manage their conditions.

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, adds; ‘On behalf of all my colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Dorset ICS on being shortlisted in so many categories this year. All of the applications represent the very best of the NHS, and often leave our esteemed panel of judges with an impossible choice!’

The full list of nominees for the 2022 HSJ Awards can be found on the dedicated website.

Details of the Awards partners are also available.