Well done to our Queen Mary’s prostate cancer team and our Emergency Department team for being shortlisted within the Acute Sector Innovation category of the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The awards are one of the largest celebrations of healthcare excellence in the world, recognising and promoting the finest achievements in the NHS, and showcasing them to the service’s most influential leaders.

The winners will be revealed on 21 November at an awards ceremony. Well done to both teams and good luck!

Rapid prostate cancer pathway team

We are one of three Trusts using cutting edge technology to reduce diagnosis times for prostate cancer from six weeks to one day in a world-leading new approach.

Our team, based at Queen Mary’s, is led by Mr Hasan Qazi, Consultant Urological Surgeon.

He said: “We’re really proud to be part of the rapid project for prostate cancer. It means that men can be diagnosed early, reduces the number of invasive biopsies and can also translate into better outcomes for our patients.

“The project reflects our efforts across the Trust to deliver state of the art diagnostics and treatment for our patients. I am absolutely delighted that the project has been shortlisted for an HSJ Award – it is incredible news and we’re all extremely pleased.”

The new method means a ‘one-stop-shop’ for suspected prostate cancer which can revolutionise cancer care for our patients. You can read more about the pathway here.

The pathway includes teams from Epsom Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital, as well as our team from Queen Mary’s, as part of RM Partners, the Cancer Alliance for west London.

The Daily MailThe Times and The Sun reported the launch of the pilot earlier this year.

Mr Qazi also took part in a Facebook Live event about prostate cancer with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Visit the NICE Facebook page here to watch it.

New device quickly diagnoses flu in our Emergency Department (ED)

The second shortlisted team includes staff from ED, Transformation, South West London Pathology and the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in South London for their new point-of-care flu testing device in ED.

The device means patients’ flu test results are typically processed and acted upon in just 20 minutes, compared with up to 24 hours when sent to the laboratory.

Before the device was installed, all suspected flu patients requiring admission had to be isolated in side rooms, which could cause overcrowding in ED, and evidence suggested only 1 in 5 of these patients would genuinely have flu.

The ability to confirm a positive or negative result in less than 20 minutes means we can safely isolate ‘true’ flu patients, and transfer non-flu patients quickly and safely to a ward bed, improving flow out of ED.

It also gives us the unique and unprecedented ability to be able to prospectively cohort patients into designated flu wards, which significantly helps with patient flow and capacity at a time of year when hospitals are under huge bed pressures.

On an individual test basis, the device is also cheaper than the laboratory test so it is cost-effective, efficient, avoids unnecessary isolation and improves overall patient experience.

Dr Yasser Iqbal, ED Consultant and project lead, presented the idea and gained funding via last year’s Quality Improvement Week ‘Dragon’s Den’ initiative, with support from the Unplanned and Admitted Patient Care Programme team.

Dr Iqbal said: “It has had a positive impact on patient flow, ED capacity and ultimately patient experience. The new point-of-care flu testing device plays an important part of our continued drive to make doing the right thing for patients the easiest and most efficient thing to do for clinicians, and to provide Outstanding Care, Every Time.”