Northamptonshire CCG earns national recognition

An initiative which seeks to enable better and more joined-up care for thousands of people in Northamptonshire has received national recognition.

The Yellow Bracelet Scheme was highly commended in the Improving Care for Older People category at this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards.

Developed by NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) through Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership, the scheme sees patients given a yellow bracelet with a QR code, which can be scanned using any registered device with a camera.

This gives clinicians and healthcare professionals instant access to data about the patient’s domiciliary care package, their personal needs and the support they have available at home – thereby improving their care and helping reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

The scheme was shortlisted as a finalist at the awards, despite tough competition from across the country, and was among a small number of entries highly commended.

In praising the scheme, the judges said: “This is a great adaptation of existing patient information sharing platforms currently in use across the country.

“The roll out of the yellow bracelet scheme clearly has older people at the heart of its approach. Significant qualitative and quantitative gains were made, spread across health and social care settings, with even more added value during covid-19.”

Recognising it had great potential, the judges added that they were “keen to explore how the scheme could further support differing groups of vulnerable clients and diverse communities in the future, and see it replicated in other areas”.

Toby Sanders, the CCG’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted the Yellow Bracelet Scheme has been highly commended. It’s welcome acknowledgement of the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members in successfully implementing the scheme.

“Along with our partners, we are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our patients across Northamptonshire, and to receive this recognition is a wonderful achievement.”

There are around 4,600 patients across Northamptonshire – many of them elderly – who rely on domiciliary packages of care. Data shows a third of these patients end up being admitted to hospital – many needlessly – and the Yellow Bracelet scheme is helping to address this.

Developed with technology from Sundown Solutions, the scheme is the brainchild of Gabriella O’Keeffe, Head of Quality Improvement for Northamptonshire CCG.

The data the scheme provides is also made available to GPs and social care providers to support more joined-up care and better outcomes for patients across Northamptonshire.

The annual HSJ Patient Safety Awards help drive improvements in culture and quality across the NHS by celebrating the teams and the people putting safety first.

Winners were announced at a ceremony, held virtually on 10 November 2020.

The full list of winners and highly commended entries, along with a project showcase on each of the finalists, can be found on the awards webpage.