BIR/Bayer Make it Better Award presented to Royal Free team

21 June 2016


Royal Free  London NHS Foundation Trust team win BIR/Bayer ‘Make it Better’ Service Award prize 2016

The introduction of image-guided lung biopsies using an early discharge protocol means a more cost effective and improved service for patients with suspected lung cancer

A team which has developed a new system to accelerate and improve early diagnosis of lung cancer, a first for the UK,  has won the BIR/Bayer Make it Better Award which was presented at the UK Radiology Congress in Liverpool on 8 June.

Dr Sam Hare and Dr Aniket Tavare from Barnet Hospital, part of the Royal Free London NHS  Foundation Trust were presented with the award by Andreas Ackermann, Country Head, Radiology from Bayer and Jacqueline Fowler, Chief Executive of the BIR.

The image-guided procedure, combined with use of Heimlich valve chest drainage (HVCD) for significant post-biopsy pneumothorax, allows safe management of such patients in an outpatient, ambulatory fashion whilst saving hundreds of hospital beds. The early discharge protocol allows over 90% of patients to go home just 30-60 minutes after their biospy, compared to the standard UK practice of 4-6 hours. Using HVCD, a discreet unobtrusive device, is eight to nine times less expensive than a standard bulky inpatient chest drain.

The alternative to this new system is prolonged post-biopsy monitoring in hospital beds, which causes treatment delays and patients often missing out on cutting edge treatments such as radiofrequency ablation and gene-targeted drugs altogether, as these are predicated on tissue diagnosis.

At Barnet Hospital, this has resulted in a huge increase in productivity: there have been almost 800 outpatient lung biopsies since 2011; including 216 in last the last six months. The national UK average is 30 to 40 per year. Moreover, there is a 99% successful early discharge rate and more than 98% of biopsies are diagnostic which is better than national guidelines.

In addition patients are diagnosed earlier and there is a 73% increase in resection rates (2013 vs 2010) and no intra-operative frozen section for five years which means huge efficiency savings in operating theatre time.

Andreas Ackermann, Country Head Radiology UK, Bayer, said “It is a great honour to support this award which goes to a team who are making a real difference to the hospital experience for people with lung cancer. We hope the publicity about this award will help to encourage other hospitals to take on this ground-breaking protocol.”

Dr Sam Hare said “We are thrilled to have received this award and look forward to sharing our work so that this system becomes standard practice in other Trusts”.

Jacqueline Fowler, Chief Executive of BIR, said “We’d like to thank Bayer for supporting this award which encourages hospital teams to spread the word about their innovative work and encourages others to replicate good practice”.

Bayer will be supporting this award again in 2016/17 and applications are now welcome. The closing date is 28 February 2017.

More information about the winners of the BIR/Bayer ‘Make it Better’ award can be found on the BIR website


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