25th September 2015

Award for innovative community anticoagulation scheme

25 September 2015

A group of Bradford GP practices has been recognised for its innovative and modernised approach to helping patients who need oral anticoagulation treatment.

Instead of having to attend hospital for anticoagulation services, patients with the Westcliffe Medical Practice group can have treatment in a community setting, under the wing of general practice.

Westcliffe Community Anticoagulation Service involves seven GP practices: Westcliffe, Shipley; Shipley Medical Practice; The Willows, Queensbury; Thornton Medical Practice, Cowgill Surgery, Clayton, Sunny Bank Medical Centre and Haigh Hall, Greengates – all of which are part of NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG.)

Westcliffe Community Anticoagulation Service was set up in preparation for a forecasted increase in the number of patients who would require treatment. The service has also gone beyond its original specification of monitoring stable patients, now offering Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) as well as warfarin.

It has also introduced self-monitoring and operates ad-hoc screening to identify patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), a condition which causes abnormalities in the rhythm of the heart.

This has resulted in more than 6,000 tailor-made appointments per year being available at five different community sites, improving ease of access and a safe, personalised and more holistic experience for 520 patients.

The success of the scheme has now been recognised by The Quality In Care (QIC) Programme – winning the ‘Modernising Services to include NOACs’ category.

QIC is a programme which recognises good practice in patient care and joint working in key therapy areas.

Judges said of the Westcliffe Community Anticoagulation Service: “This is a clear, well-designed service built in primary care whose objectives suggest patient involvement throughout its development. It has proved to be influential across its entire region and this is an exceptional approach to a modern anticoagulation service.”

The success of the service is down to a dedicated team, led by Dr Matthew Fay, GP Partner at Westcliffe and now known nationally for his work on AF (Dr Fay has been the clinical champion of the service), and Assistant Practitioner in Cardiology at Westcliffe, Bernie Cahill.

Bernie said: “The service means more accessible care for our patients because they don’t have to attend the surgery where they are registered; they can attend at any of the sites. It is also much more personalised because patients are often seeing the same person each time and are able to build a good relationship.”

Westcliffe Cardiac Nurse Specialist, Shona Holding, who is also part of the team added: “Appointments are available throughout the week at a range of times and days at five different venues which are geographically spread which makes a huge difference for patients in terms of convenience, and many of our patients enjoy being able to self-test as a result of special home kits which are now available.”

A patient survey about the service showed 100 per cent satisfaction with 80 per cent of patients describing the service as “excellent.”

Dr Youssef Beaini, Clinical Lead Cardiovascular Disease for NHS Bradford Districts CCG commented: “We are delighted to hear that the Westcliffe Community Anticoagulation Service has been recognised with this award which is truly deserved as a result of innovative and hard-working staff.

“The CCG is dedicated to improving the care of patients with heart disease in the CCG’s area and our aim is to raise awareness of heart health through our Bradford’s Healthy Hearts campaign and Westcliffe’s work is a perfect example of what can be achieved to benefit patients.”