UK National Screening Committee & Northgate Public Services Celebrates Success at HSJ Awards

3 October 2013

The UK National Screening Committee and NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme, in partnership with Northgate Public Services, were proud to accept  the top prize  for Efficiency in Clinical Support Services at the HSJ awards.

The ceremony, which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, was attended by NHS teams from around the country and celebrated the best in efficiency, innovation and best practice across the healthcare sector.

The ‘failsafe project’ for which the team (who are part of Public Health England) was nominated was described as a fantastic example of innovation which safeguards the future of the NHS, ensures that its resources are used to their full potential and helps to make savings in a way which enhances, rather than damages, patient care.

The IT solution addresses the problem of missed blood spot (heel prick) screening tests and the challenges that can occur in tracking results across organisational boundaries. The impact of the project is to ensure that all babies born with a number of serious genetic conditions get the early treatment they need to prevent irreversible harm or even death.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England expressed his pleasure at the announcement and said: “The acknowledgement by judges at the HSJ of the first class work that has been carried out through this project goes a long way to ensuring that this new system is taken up by other organisations.”

Dr Anne Mackie Director of Programmes at the UK National Screening Committee said: “This will ensure that a greater number of babies with problems are identified at the earliest possible stage enabling faster and more effective treatment.”

Alan Campbell, Head of Screening Solutions, at Northgate Public Services, comments: “The bloodspot programme plays an intrinsic role in the process of identifying serious genetic conditions in babies. Delivering a life-changing public service is hugely rewarding and being recognised by HSJ is a huge achievement. We hope this project will show other healthcare organisations what can be done, even with tight timescales and in an environment of austerity.”

The HSJ judges said they were impressed by the dedicated enthusiasm of the small team who led forward an innovative, yet simple solution with national and local benefits for the NHS and social care while providing short and long term benefits to babies and their families.”