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Delivering medication in a safer way for patients in North West London

Christine Norman, ICHP Innovation Advisor, talks about how we’ve been helping to evaluate a new piece of medical equipment helping to make care safer for patients across North West London…. 

ICHP has been helping clinical teams across North West London evaluate and take up the Non-injectable Arterial Connector (NIC), a new piece of equipment which aims to stop accidental administration of medication into patients’ bloodstreams, prevent bacterial contamination and also prevent blood spillage during sampling. It does this by having a one-way valve in its internal chamber.

The NIC has been selected by NHS England’s Innovation Technology Tariff (ITT), which aims to accelerate adoption of medical technology and apps into the NHS.

As the AHSN for North West London, Imperial College Health Partners was keen to support clinical teams in the adoption of the NIC. To support implementation and promote knowledge sharing, we carried out a qualitative evaluation of trials of the NIC in autumn 2017.

Our key findings are summarised below:

Uptake

  • Five trusts in North West London – Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and London North West University Healthcare Trust – have placed orders for a total of 1,775 NICs, which will benefit approximately 500 patients across the region;
  • As at November 2017, three of the trusts – Imperial College Healthcare Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and London North West University Healthcare Trust – had trialled the product.

Benefits

  • All trusts agreed that there was a definite need for a one-way valve connector to address potential patient safety concerns;
  • It was universally agreed that the NIC in principle addressed this need through its use of a one-way valve.

Challenges

  • Some usability challenges were identified during the trials. These were predominantly around blood leakages and a stiff syringe connection;
  • It was generally thought these might be possible to overcome with additional training for staff.

Long-term use

  • All trusts are considering using the NIC on a longer-term basis, with concern for patient safety a primary factor in the decision-making process.

Next steps

ICHP will continue to liaise with the trusts to support implementation. We plan to follow-up with all trusts in the Spring of 2018 to capture any additional learnings.

If you wish to discuss the work with us in more detail, please contact me on christine.norman@imperialcollegehealthpartners.com