Winner: A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) specialist team has transformed patient care by reducing hospital admissions and the use of anticoagulants.

Jo Boyd

As the UK’s first nurse sonographer, Jo Boyd led the transformation at the SEQOL specialist treatment centre in Swindon, using ultrasound to confirm or exclude DVT in the community.

Only one in 25 patients with suspected DVT were receiving ultrasound within four hours of assessment. Patients waiting for an ultrasound were anxious and needed daily anticoagulant injections, yet only 14 per cent of these patients had DVT confirmed. In 2014, 1,476 patients received an average of three unnecessary doses.

Jo gained competence in ultrasound scanning and set up a nurse-led service that enables patients to be assessed, diagnosed, treated and reviewed in one place – with a much shorter time to diagnosis.

Previously only 20% of patients received a scan within 24 hours and 4% at initial consultation – these figures are now 97% and 94% respectively. Written feedback from patients has been positive.

Jo Boyd

The team has been shortlisted in the Superdrug-sponsored Community Nursing category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016.

Jo says: ‘It has been a real delight developing our DVT diagnosis service. From the time when we first came up with the concept of a service that would allow patients with a potential blood clot to be seen and scanned on the same day, we have had unqualified support from our SEQOL management team, who listen to their nurses and allow us to have a direct impact on how we deliver patient care.’

Julie Sylvester, editor of specialist journal Primary Health Care, was on the shortlisting panel. She says: ‘The RCNi Nurse Awards are a wonderful way to recognise those who innovate in their practice to make a difference to patient care.

‘The standard of entries received for community nursing was exceptionally high. All the finalists showcase the best of nursing practice in the specialty and demonstrate the impact they are having on people’s lives.’

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