PHG sudden death project wins hearts of ERBI judges

Congratulations to the Foundation for Genomics and Population Health (@PHGFoundation) for winning the NHS Partnership Award of the ERBI’s 2009 Bench2Boardroom conference. PKB and PHG were both finalists for the award and as you can read from the article below their work is important and interesting.

In at least 20% of families affected by the sudden unexplained death of a young family member, a genetic heart condition may be the cause (Behr, 2003). As with all of their other projects, PHG worked with experts drawn from a range of professional groups and academic disciplines to identify the key issues and develop practical recommendations. The original article is at Business Weekly, 29 October 2009, and we’ve included a copy below as the author also kindly mentioned our work with Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

PHG sudden death project wins hearts of ERBI judges

Life Sciences – ERBI
Written by Holdsworth Associates
Thursday, 29 October 2009 17:19

Partnership is NHS East of England vision for 21st Century

A holistic approach to a group of devastating illnesses won the respect of judges for the 2009 ERBI NHS Partnership Award. The PHG Foundation, which bridges the gap between exploratory science and clinical practice, gained the award for its report on the inherited cardiovascular conditions that, for example, cause sudden death in seemingly healthy young people. It demonstrated how the latest advances could help improve diagnosis, care and prevention.

This award is sponsored by NHS East of England. Head of Innovation Kate Gill comments that the region has an ambitious vision for 21st century healthcare: “The ERBI awards help to identify groundbreaking new innovations and play an important part in improving the working relationship between industry and the NHS, which is fundamental to increasing our rate of innovation.

“We need both large scale and smaller scale innovations, and some of these will be ‘big ideas’. However, it is just as important that we have ideas to improve the level of integration of innovations into current or new patient care pathways and improve the quality and effectiveness of the care provided for patients.”

The PHG Foundation project showed how the latest knowledge could be fast-tracked in order to provide improved and accessible care for patients and families.

Carol Lyon, Operations Director for PHG Foundation, explained what the report revealed: “In the last few years our knowledge of the genetic basis of certain diseases has led to the development of new genetic tests that can not only aid diagnosis but also inform preventative care for patients and their families.

“We have also seen new developments in electrophysiology, echocardiography and imaging. We saw the potential for using these technologies in the treatment of inherited cardiac conditions, which affect 340,000 people in the UK. Outside a very few specialist centres, people with heart problems are traditionally cared for by cardiovascular specialists. Our recommendation is that a multi-disciplinary team is required.

“Another area of concern is the support for other family members after the loss of a child. The Coroner is unable to retain tissue for further analysis and this means that valuable information that could be used to protect siblings is destroyed.”

The Department of Health Heart Team has been enthusiastic about the issues raised by PHG Foundation, and Carol is concerned to see that, in the face of difficult public spending conditions, progress is maintained in implementing the lifesaving recommendations. “Winning the ERBI award is important to us as it recognises our huge commitment to partnership with the NHS, as well as highlighting this report and the need for further action to adopt these recommendations,” she commented.

Harriet Fear, CEO of ERBI, says that the NHS Partnerships Award is valuable as it celebrates projects that could have patient benefit in the near term: “Understanding the end user of the service or technology is of fundamental importance. For example we welcome the development of a Biomedical Park in the region, which will help bring science, business and health provision closer together – an exceptional example of the whole model of ‘open innovation’ in practice.”

Other exciting short listed projects were:

Patients Know Best. It has launched a pilot-trial of an innovative patient focused social network. The secure system is the only one authorised by the NHS and it will allow patients with chronic conditions to share information with carers, clinicians and other support staff. It could potentially be life saving, as it will enable rapid access to information in the event of an emergency.

The pilot is being carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and promises more holistic care, as specialists are able to gain access to all the relevant information providing a more complete picture of a person’s health and wellbeing.

Hope Enterprises has developed software that will assist the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals to forecast bed demand for a fortnight and compare this to the available beds. It will allow analysis at a ward, division and hospital level to allow better planning and allocation of resources. Hope has entered a partnership with NNUH to promote the software to other trusts.

– ENDS –

For media information please contact: Claire Lynn/Rachel Holdsworth Holdsworth Associates tel 01954 202789
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Further information:

ERBI: Barnaby Perks, Marketing Director, ERBI Ltd, 01223 497 400

About ERBI

ERBI is a not-for-profit membership organisation based in Cambridge, which provides a platform for its member life science and healthcare companies to meet, interact and internationalise their businesses.  Founded in 1997, it has become Europe’s leading lifescience and healthcare cluster organisation.

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