National awards final beckons for LCHS services

6th June 2018

Staff representing two of Lincolnshire's NHS services are hoping to bring home the crown in two different categories of a national awards ceremony tomorrow night (June 7).

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust's (LCHS) Clinical Assessment Service and the trust's Operations Centre have reached the finals of the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards 2018.

The services will be competing for the top spot in the 'emergency, urgent and trauma care' and 'improving the value of NHS support services' categories respectively.

This the second consecutive year LCHS has been shortlisted in the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards for its Clinical Assessment Service, which helps people to access the right urgent care service or advice.

The service is run by experienced clinicians based across Lincolnshire and is accessed by calling 111. Approximately 36 per cent of calls end with advice given with no need for further contact with NHS services - equating to about 35,000 people supported over the phone over the course of the year, avoiding unnecessary journeys or hospital admissions.

The service's successes since its pilot have meant it has now expanded to provide direct access for care homes, be supported by clinical pharmacists and be integrated into urgent care streaming in the county's accident and emergency departments.

The awards shortlisting for the Clinical Assessment Service also follows high praise from Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors, who visited the service as part of a recent inspection of Lincolnshire's Out of Hours service, which was rated 'good' overall.

LCHS's Operations Centre, which is based in the trust's headquarters in Lincoln, acts as a central coordination point to support patients moving into and between community services in Lincolnshire. Its team works in partnership with other organisations to make sure referrals can be made smoothly, preventing unnecessary blockages and delays.

Its work at the heart of LCHS has been supported by the installation of a new telephony system, which resulted in a 52 per cent decrease in the average call waiting time and a 22 per cent increase in the number of calls answered within 60 seconds. The cost of calls to the trust also reduced by 86 per cent.

Lisa Stalley Green, director of nursing and operations at LCHS, said: "To have been shortlisted in two different categories of this year's HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards makes us extremely proud. Both teams have worked exceptionally hard to develop their services and are continually striving to build on their successes. Being shortlisted alongside such a high calibre of entrants also gives an indication of how determined we are in Lincolnshire to be pioneers in our field of expertise."

The ceremony takes place at Manchester Central.