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Innovative scheme wins national award

​The PrescQIPP Innovation Award for Polypharmacy and Deprescribing

A groundbreaking NHS scheme to help more than 6,000 South Devon people who have chronic breathing issues has scooped a national award.

The Going for GOLD initiative, run by South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), won its trophy at the prestigious PrescQIPP Innovation Awards.

The award is a celebration of work by the CCG’s medicines optimisation team and local respiratory consultants, who are improving patients’ quality of life and keeping them out of hospital.

The Going for GOLD scheme identifies people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and works with them to improve their condition management.

This has involved partnership working with GPs to simplify the range of inhalers available and help patients to better manage their condition.

Dr Jo Roberts, the CCG’s clinical lead for medicines optimisation, said: “With an increasing amount of inhalers available, and the confusion this can bring, we have simplified the criteria for South Devon and Torbay.

“We are also using the respiratory expertise of the nurses and pharmacists working in GP practices in reviewing patients.”

PrescQIPP award winners

Sarah-Jane Rowlands and Lee Dobson with the PrescQIPP award

Sarah-Jane Rowlands, medicines optimisation practice pharmacist at the CCG, added: “The aim is to reduce COPD exacerbations, unplanned GP contacts and hospital admissions, while improving patients’ health and quality of life.

“To win the PrescQIPP Polypharmacy and Deprescribing award is great recognition for our team and for the work they’re doing for so many patients.”

COPD is a condition in which changes in the lungs cause airflow obstruction. It causes many symptoms and can significantly affect patients’ quality of life.

Lee Dobson, consultant in respiratory medicine at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: Patients with COPD are also vulnerable to episodes of worsening symptoms that require treatment.

“We hope this award raises the profile of the work we are doing, so that many more patients can benefit from what is a fantastic scheme.”

As part of the Going for GOLD initiative, a series of educational events has been attended by nearly 200 GPs, respiratory nurses and community pharmacists across South Devon and Torbay.