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Partnership wins national health-industry award

An initiative bringing together the Oxford AHSN, NHS and industry to improve patient care has won a national prize.

The collaboration with Roche Diagnostics to introduce a new test for pre-eclampsia into maternity units was the winner of the ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership’ category of the HSJ Partnership Awards.

The judges said: “This project showed high levels of innovation and sophistication. This evidence-based project delivered demonstrable improvements in patient experience.”

The test predicts with much greater accuracy whether a pregnant woman will develop pre-eclampsia within the following seven days. It rules out women who will not develop pre-eclampsia so that they do not have to undergo the worry and inconvenience of an unnecessary hospital stay. It also means that resources can be focused more effectively on the women who really need them.

The test was trialled at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) where it has now been introduced as standard. The Oxford AHSN (one of the AHSC partners) is overseeing its introduction into other hospitals. It measures the ratio of two placental factors – maternal serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor (PlGF) – that are released into the mother’s blood.

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of the Oxford AHSN, said: “We are delighted that the judges saw how this approach is making a real difference to the lives of many pregnant women. More accurate diagnosis brings many benefits – it reduces the need for admission as well as indicating those women who need closer monitoring. This is a powerful example of improved diagnostics leading to improved clinical care pathways.”