Researchers from the Nuffield Trust have been awarded a Royal College of Physicians Excellence in Patient Care award for their work on assessing frailty among older people in hospital.
A consortium from Leicester, Southampton and Newcastle upon Tyne University hospitals, the LSE and the Nuffield Trust developed and validated a hospital frailty risk score, which uses routinely collected data to identify older people most at risk of harm and in need of particular help and support. The work was honoured by the RCP’s annual Lancet research award, which recognises original research that can contribute to significant improvements in health outcomes or patient care.
The combined research team emerged as the 2019 winners from a strong shortlist of four teams. The risk score offers a low cost way to identify frail patients by automatically using data already collected. It is already in use by the Specialised Clinical Frailty Network; international collaborations are in train with Canada, Switzerland, Australia and France; and the approach will be embedded in the NHS England Master Patient Index.
Commenting on the award and the impact of the project, senior research analyst Eilís Keeble said:
“It is hugely rewarding to be involved in a research project which has the potential to benefit many thousands of frail older patients who are at serious risk of adverse health outcomes. The development of the frailty risk score also demonstrates the value and importance of being able to access and analyse large health data sets– in this case Hospital Episode Statistics – in order to improve the quality of care we offer to patients.
“It’s been a pleasure working with our colleagues from Leicester, the LSE, Southampton and Newcastle. I would pay particular tribute to the leadership of Professors Stuart Parker and Simon Conroy who have driven the research with rigour and a real passion for their patients.”
You can read more about the research, the Frailty Risk Score and the assessment tool kit below: