United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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Lord Darzi presents Michael Oko with MEH award

Snoring Disorders Centre founder, Consultant ENT surgeon Michael Oko, will address senior healthcare executives from across the Middle East in Abu Dhabi next week.

At the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011) Mr Oko will be speaking about the benefits of preventative treatment in delivering cost savings, using the example of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) testing and treatment in Lincolnshire UK.

It is suspected that about 20% of car accidents are sleep related and research has shown that sleepiness can impair driving more than drink! Indeed, patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea have a 7-12 fold chance of a road traffic accident (RTA) compared to those who do not, and results in Lincolnshire have shown that treating the condition can reduce the accident rate dramatically.

In an interview to be published in Middle East Hospital magazine this month Mr Oko said,

“Fatal road accidents in Lincolnshire used to average about 79 per year. By December 2010, the number of fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. A significant contributory factor in this success is that since 2006 the Snoring Disorders Centre has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel. As well as the lives that have been saved by this initiative, this reduction in accidents also represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS.”

Mr Oko is bringing this message to the Middle East in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of not addressing the rising incidence of OSA across the region,

“With the low level of awareness of sleep apnoea in the Middle East it’s no surprise that road accident rates in the Gulf region are dreadful. In fact road traffic accidents are the second major cause of death in the UAE and there are 3500 fatalities per year from RTAs in Saudi Arabia alone. I believe that the success I have had in Lincolnshire can be replicated in the Middle East by raising awareness of the condition, and forming long-term partnerships with local hospitals, doctors, and government departments.”

Mr Oko has already been very active in bringing this message to the healthcare community in the Middle East throughout 2011. For his work in this area Mr Oko was awarded the Middle East Hospital magazine award for excellence in respiratory care.

In January 2012 Mr Oko is opening a new private clinic at 150 Harley Street in London, to increase treatment capacity in the London area, and to cater for overseas patients. He also plans to open further satellite clinics throughout the UK.


Notes to editors:

Media contact: Guy Rowland, PR Consultant | +44 (0)7909 088369 | guyrowland@gmail.com

Launched in 2010, the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011, Abu Dhabi), is the premier conference to feature global health care innovation. It attracts more than 600 senior health care thought leaders from all industry sectors, including hospitals, health systems, employers, government agencies, pharma, biotech and industry suppliers. WHCC Middle East is organized with sovereign partners the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Additional sponsorship is currently provided by The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) www.seha.ae and Children’s National Medical Center www.childrensnational.org


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The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement is publishing a profile of the Snoring Disorders Centre, outlining the service and the impact it has had both for individual patients and Lincolnshire as a whole. This will be put up on the NHS Innovations website and circulated throughout the NHS as an example of best practice in service innovation. Here is an extract on the benefits the service has had in road accident reduction:

“Occupational road related deaths and accidents in Lincolnshire average about 79 per year. 20% of car accidents are shown to be sleep related although it’s uncertain how many are due to obstructive sleep apnoea. The cost of each fatal accident is around £1.64 million, so every accident prevented is of significant benefit to society and to the NHS. Many of our patients admit to feeling drowsy at the wheel.

“By December 2010, the number of  fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. This represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS. A contributory factor may be that the service has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel.

“One patient who drives 50,000 miles a year for work said using the CPAP machine to treat his sleep apnoea has turned his life around: ‘For four or five years I struggled to sleep and I used to need two naps every day just to get through the day. My GP referred me to Mr Oko when I said I had trouble sleeping. Within weeks he got me on a CPAP machine which I use every night and I’ve never looked back. It’s made a huge difference to my life’.”

Read the full snoring and sleep apnoea disorders centre profile

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Jayex’s QI touch screen solution enables the trust to instantly review patient feedback to assist in the delivery of high-quality patient centred care

Jayex, the healthcare display technology specialist, today announces that United Lincolnshire NHS Trust (ULHT) has selected Jayex QI Interactive survey and patient information management kiosk to provide real-time feedback from its patients. United Lincolnshire NHS Trust aims to utilise patient feedback to improve service delivery, review patient wait-times and plan for service redesign where necessary. The survey and patient information management touch screen solution allows patients to immediately feedback on their visit at the Trust whilst awaiting discharge.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust invests each year in improving clinical services by replacing and upgrading medical equipment, modernising its estate and facilities and improving the information and technology infrastructure. In an average year, ULHT treats more than 180,000 accident and emergency patients, nearly half a million outpatients and almost 100,000 inpatients. As part of ULHT’s bid to modernise its facilities and enhance service wholly centred on the visiting patients, UHLT realised the best way to deliver this objective was through direct patient feedback.

Dr. Michael Oko, head of department for ENT surgery, general surgery and sleep service at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, comments on the importance of receiving patient feedback, “With the NHS undergoing significant reform, healthcare organisations are required to deliver efficiency savings whilst simultaneously improving the services delivered by clinicians to the patient. In addition, the introduction of medical revalidation demands that healthcare organisations, clinicians and GPs holding registration with a licence to practise will have to demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are fit to practise and complying with the relevant professional standards. An essential part of the revalidation process is measuring patient feedback and healthcare organisations must deploy the tools that will enable them to gather feedback and measure performance in advance of revalidation.”

Dr. Oko, explains, “Without the evidence to illustrate the level of service currently being provided to patients, healthcare organisations and GPs will have an impossible task of reviewing performance and improving areas of service – if and where necessary. Jayex’s QI Interactive solution offers healthcare organisations instant access to patient views and will greatly support healthcare professionals in the run-up to revalidation.”

“There are a number of ways in which patient feedback can be consumed, however, many of these methods demand time and resource, such as written questionnaires requiring manual entry of answers into a system and data analysis. Alternatively a web-based survey relies on the patient to log-on at home which would naturally reduce the number of respondents. The Jayex QI Interactive survey and information management kiosk alleviates these issues and provides the patient with a simple and quick way to give their feedback and delivers clear statistical information to managers and clinicians on their performance, the service the patients received and the surrounding environment.” said Dr. Oko.

The recent whitepaper – Liberating the NHS – outlined plans to revolutionise the NHS through the use of information to ensure patients receive high-quality patient care. With that in mind, healthcare organisations must consider ways of gathering feedback from patients to measure current performance, identify areas which require improvement and highlight examples where a department or clinician has excelled in order to promote best-practice across the local health economy.

Dr. Oko, adds, “At the heart of the NHS is patient satisfaction. The Jayex QI Interactive allows us to obtain the information that can enable ULHT to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, we can avoid only hearing the complaints, analyse performance on an ongoing basis and share best practice across the Trust where clinicians and consultants regularly receive positive feedback.

“Healthcare is a service industry, but it doesn’t seem to behave like one. If you’ve got no evidence that you are delivering a good service to your patients, then it is impossible to review and improve upon. The patient survey and information management kiosk provides the Trust with instant access to patient views and offers a great platform to enhance our service for patients in the region.”

Full release published in E-Heath Insider

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