AN EXEMPLARY approach to avoiding preventable blood clots in hospitals has earned Denbighshire national recognition.

The introduction of the spot checks to Glan Clwyd Hospital in September 2017 of patients' medical histories to screen candidates for blood clots has led to an 88 percent reduction in preventable hospital acquired thrombosis.

The project has introduced 'thromboprophylaxis walk-arounds' to the hospital was conceived by thromboprophylaxis specialist nurses Christine Welburn and lead manager quality and transformation Melissa Baker and has seen the hospital awarded national accreditation with VTE Exemplar Centre Status

Ms Welburn said: “At the start, we found that the compliance for carrying out risk assessments was as low as 34 percent, which really needed to improve.

“The results we’ve had speak for themselves. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board now has the lowest rate of preventable hospital acquired thrombosis.”

Just four instances of preventable hospital acquired thrombosis were recorded for the 16 months following the introduction of the walk-arounds, compared to 22 in the eight months before the walk arounds, while compliance with risk assessments is now at 100 percent.

The unannounced spot checks were supported by clinical lead for thromboprophylaxis Mr Amir Hanna and lead pharmacist for surgery Haimon Chaudhry, and involve a nurse, a surgeon and pharmacist on the documentation of any patient at the hospital.

There staff also conduct checks on whether risk assessments have been carried out, if the right prescriptions for medication are being offered and including practical measures, like offering anti-embolic stockings.

As a result, the scheme has now been introduced to Wrexham Maelor Hospital and is being studied by other hospitals in England and Wales.

It has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the NHS Wales Award in the 'Improving Patient Safety' category and received a highly commended in the recent HSJ award for Acute service redesign.

Professor Roopen Arya, director of the King’s Thrombosis Centre and lead for the NHS VTE Exemplar Centre Network, said: “Preventing VTE is a major clinical priority for the NHS and its partners and the national VTE Exemplar Centre network is committed to promoting best practice in VTE prevention and care.

“The commitment to VTE prevention and the quality of VTE services presented by Melissa Baker and Christine Welburn was highly impressive. Your organisation will be a welcome addition to the national VTE exemplar network.”