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Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards: Princess Alexandra Hospital gastroenterology inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) service and pharmacy team short-listed



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Health professionals at the NHS trust that runs Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop's Stortford have been short-listed for a national award for their "life-changing" work on improving patients' conditions and symptoms.

The gastroenterology inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) service and the pharmacy team at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) are in the running in the 'Improving Safety in Medicines Management' category of this year's Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards.

The teams focused on improving the care of patients with IBD who were taking immuno-suppressant and biologic medication.

Monica Bose, PAHT's consultant gastroenterologist and associate medical director for cancer, cardiology and clinical support services, and chief pharmacist John Biddulph
Monica Bose, PAHT's consultant gastroenterologist and associate medical director for cancer, cardiology and clinical support services, and chief pharmacist John Biddulph

Biologic medicines, produced by biological rather than chemical processes, are treatments for people with moderate to severe Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. They may be an option when other drugs, such as immuno-suppressants or steroids, have not been effective or when side effects have been hard to manage.

A specialist pharmacist was embedded within the IBD service in gastroenterology to advise on alternative medications (biosimilars) which could effectively manage these conditions.

John Biddulph, chief pharmacist at the PAHT, said: "Our approach has given patients the opportunity to be proactively involved, first-hand, in their care. It has also enhanced partnership working between our hospital and GP surgeries.

"We're proud of the many positive messages and comments from our patients, who often refer to the improvement in their condition and symptoms as being life-changing."

Monica Bose, consultant gastroenterologist and associate medical director for cancer, cardiology and clinical support services, who clinically led the development of this programme, added: "It's excellent to see what we've achieved, working as one team, to improve the care and experiences of our patients. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this fantastic project."

Winners will be announced as part of the Patient Safety Congress and Awards in Manchester in September.



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