UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award winners!

21 January 2016


Congratulations to Hash Ahmed and the prostate cancer team for winning the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Acute Sector Innovation award, announced during the awards ceremony on 18 November at Grosvenor House in London.

The team was awarded for their innovation in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer through targeting better diagnosis by taking a fresh look at the whole patient pathway, using methods that require fewer but more accurate biopsies. They also pioneered treatments - called focal therapy - that are cheaper, can be done in a day – case setting with quick recovery and carry significantly fewer long-term side-effects compared to traditional surgery or radiotherapy, such as incontinence and impotence.

HSJ commented that the trust was ‘confident’ that increased expenditure had led to net healthcare and cost benefits and the Judges said the scheme “made a difference to a common problem and was innovative as well as cost effective”.

The team’s new approach means fewer men are biopsied, resulting in less harm to patients and reduced costs. In addition, the one-stop service developed by the team has reduced patient visits from five to two, and time-to-diagnosis from six weeks down to one.

The multi-disciplinary flagship unit of over 50 includes patients, nurses, urologists, radiologists, pathologists, trialists, imaging experts, engineering scientists and molecular researchers.

Hashim Ahmed, who holds positions at both UCLH and within the Division of Surgery & Interventional Science at UCL, led the work and said: "I am tremendously proud of the team who has worked so hard to develop this new approach. It was challenging to bring all of these aspects together, but ultimately we have been able to prevent unnecessary treatment and provide quicker and more accurate treatment for those patients who need it.

We now have 30 per cent fewer biopsies, 30 per cent better cancer detection, fewer radical treatments, a greater number of day-case treatments and fewer complications and side-effects."

Earlier this year, the same team won the BMJ award for the Innovation category for the same work and were recently ‘highly commended’ by the NIHR for Surgical Research after being shortlisted for the NIHR CREST award.

70 Trusts were entered in the acute sector innovation category and 10 shortlisted alongside our winning team. Everyone within the Division is extremely happy with the news and achievement – congratulations again!

Further information about the award can be found here: http://www.hsj.co.uk/more/awards/hsj-awards/hsj-awards-2015-acute-sector-innovation/7000261.article