Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate is now award-winning!

Our Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate (DWAC) project won a prestigious Anticoagulation Achievement Award this month for its achievements in stroke prevention.

DWAC won the category ‘The centre best able to demonstrate adherence to NICE quality standards for atrial fibrillation’. The Anticoagulation Achievement Awards celebrate outstanding practice in the management, education and provision of anticoagulation across the UK. Staff from the West of England AHSN attended the award ceremony on Wednesday 11 October at the House of Commons.

The West of England AHSN have been working in collaboration with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bayer Healthcare to prevent strokes amongst patients with atrial fibrillation by improving medicines management in primary care.

Effective anticoagulation has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation; an abnormal heart rhythm. Anticoagulation is the process of hindering the clotting of blood; especially the use of an anticoagulant medicine to prevent the formation of blood clots.

For the DWAC project, the West of England AHSN co-designed resources with a wide range of stakeholders, including NICE, patient representatives and clinical partners. These resources include guidance for clinicians, pharmacists and patients to aid shared decision making and improve take up of anti-coagulant medicines. The resources are supported by quality improvement (QI) and clinical skills training. For more information visit www.dontwaittoanticoagulate.com

During the 36 weeks of phases one, two and three of the project’s roll-out in the westcountry, DWAC has potentially prevented 27 strokes amongst people with atrial fibrillation, representing an estimated saving of over £629,000.

Additionally, feedback from users confirms that the DWAC approach has led to improved patient care, increased confidence in shared decision making, and improved working practices. There has been a strong shift in focus from “Why anticoagulate?” to “Why not anticoagulate?”

This award demonstrates that DWAC is an important part of the national drive to reduce the number of strokes. The project is being adopted across the North West of England, Yorkshire and Humberside, Buckinghamshire and East Berkshire with 85 GP practices involved and many more engaged to start, plus further spread is planned across the West.

“I am really proud that all the hard work in GP practices across Gloucestershire, with the support of the West of England AHSN, has been recognised by winning this award. Furthermore, it is fantastic that the principles and methods developed within the DWAC programme are being rolled out to primary care in other CCG areas across England.”

Dr Jim Moore, GP, Stoke Road Surgery, Cheltenham

The organisers were delighted at the level of interest and applications received for this first year of the Anticoagulation Achievement Awards. The awards are hosted by leading charities, Anticoagulation UK, AF Association, Thrombosis UK, Arrhythmia Alliance and training establishments – Anticoagulation in practice and Thrombus. They invited applications from teams and individuals across secondary, primary and community services who can demonstrate innovation and excellence in delivering anticoagulation services, resources or individual leadership. There were six award categories and DWAC was up against some tough competition.

The winning entries from each category received a £1,000 bursary, which will be used to aid continuous improvement of services.

For the full list of winners, visit the Anticoagulation Achievement Awards website.

 

Photo: Jim Moore, GP at Stoke Road Surgery; Steve Ray, Healthcare Partnership Manager at Bayer; Dave Evans, Quality Improvement Programme Manager at the West of England AHSN; Tasha Swinscoe, Chief Operating Officer at the West of England AHSN; and Tabinda Rashid-Fadel, Circulatory Programme Manager at Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate website now live

As part of our programme to support clinicians, pharmacists and patients to reduce the number of atrial fibrillation (AF)-related strokes, the West of England AHSN has launched a new online toolkit.

The Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate project aims to increase the use of anticoagulation medicine in line with NICE guidance, improve the management of atrial fibrillation patients, and help patients make evidence-informed decisions about their own care.

Featuring separate resources for patients and healthcare professionals, the new website can be found at www.dontwaittoanticoagulate.com and includes guidance for:

  • Clinicians on the different anticoagulants they can prescribe for treating atrial fibrillation depending on a range of factors; the different patient stroke risk factors; and how to implement positive change in their practice to manage such a condition.
  • Patients on understanding their AF-related stroke risks and the different treatments available as well as questions that they should ask their doctor if they feel they are at risk of an AF related stroke.
  • Pharmacists when dealing with patients who have been prescribed anticoagulant medicines.

In the first phase of Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate, which is funded through a joint working project between Bayer HealthCare and the West of England AHSN, 11 GP practices across the West of England agreed to work with us to test out the models and quality improvement methods.

We are now running the project with GP practices in the Gloucestershire CCG area until March 2016, and currently 58 of the CCG’s 82 practices are signed up.

The third phase of the project starts in the new year, working with up to four other CCGs in our area to roll out this exciting project. We are also in discussions with another CCG about running the project with secondary care. Watch this space for the latest developments!