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Patient safety initiative wins national prize

Susie Shapiro

An Oxford initiative to improve safe prescribing of anticoagulants in primary care has won a national prize.

Dr Susie Shapiro, a Consultant Haemotologist at Oxford University Hospitals, received the patient safety award at the Royal College of Pathologists Excellence Awards.

It followed a collaboration between the OUH, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the Oxford AHSN and commercial partners to improve knowledge about and safe prescribing of anticoagulants in primary care. It led to a new anticoagulant optimisation service being commissioned in Oxfordshire.

The Oxford AHSN provided project management and coordination, data analysis and development of a business case for future commissioning.

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of the Oxford AHSN and Chair of the national AHSN Network atrial fibrillation (AF) steering group, said: “This award is well deserved recognition for Susie Shapiro and the team at the OUH anticoagulation service.

“We were pleased to collaborate in delivering this project which has improved GP confidence in managing patients on anticoagulation. It is projected to prevent 15 strokes per year in Oxfordshire through better management of patients with AF which is a major stroke risk.

“Learning from this project is being applied to other stroke prevention projects in the Oxford AHSN region, as well as shared nationally through the AHSN Network.”

Professor Paresh Vyas, Director of the Oxford Centre for Haematology, said “This is a great example of how sharing knowledge with colleagues in primary care can lead to changes in practice and save lives. It would be great to see this rolled out nationally across the NHS.”

Hundreds of thousands of patients in the UK take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. For many years warfarin has been the main option. Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs) have expanded this choice more recently.