APPTG Annual Conference 2017
The APPTG’s flagship event, the Annual Conference, took place in Parliament on Thursday 30th November 2017.
This year’s conference was chaired by Professor Roopen Arya, the National VTE Exemplar Centres Network Lead, standing in for APPTG Chair Lyn Brown MP. Attendees heard from Dr Peter MacCallum, the UK National Co-ordinating Investigator of the GARFIELD VTE Registry. GARFIELD VTE is providing a contemporary global picture of the patient characteristics and management of VTE. Potential links between rising obesity in Britain and VTE were of particular interest to attendees.
Attendees next heard from Graeme Kirkpatrick, Head of Patient Safety (Advice & Guidance) at NHS Improvement, on the current national patient safety initiatives in VTE. NHS Improvement has now taken over responsibility for patient safety, and is planning to link the various national datasets on VTE to better identify patients at risk and develop policy accordingly. Graeme also noted that the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) is exploring the feasibility of a national clinical audit on VTE prevention.
Attendees also heard from Helen Williams, Clinical Associate for Cardiovascular Disease at Southwark CCG, on delivering excellence in VTE anticoagulation services. Helen emphasised the importance of keeping patients involved in service design, and urged providers to seek input from patients and their carers on what they would like to see incorporated into services.
Following guest presentations, Roopen Arya moderated a panel discussion with leading exemplars of VTE best practice. This included Simon Toh, of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Dr Susie Shapiro, of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Andrea Croft, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board; Louise Hill of GP Care; and Anticoagulation UK’s CEO Eve Knight.
Patient support was a key theme in the discussion. It was noted that VTE can be a very isolating experience, and that it is important for patients to know that they are not alone. The panel discussed how patient support groups, such as the one provided by GP Care in Bristol, can provide this reassurance while empowering patients to manage their condition.
There was also much discussion on the occurrence of hospital associated thrombosis (HAT) in patients receiving thromboprophylaxis. The APPTG’s Annual Review found that one in six cases of HAT occurred in patients already receiving thromboprophylaxis, and it was suggested that the true figure could be as high as 50%, given ascertainment biases in HAT reporting. Panellists discussed the importance of root cause analysis in identifying the patterns in patients that failed thromboprohylaxis, and it was argued that reassessment of patients can be even more important than the initial risk assessment.
The conference was wrapped up with a reminder that as the NHS develops new models of care and the traditional boundaries between secondary, primary and community care dissolve, the need for a robust approach to VTE prevention and management in all areas of care is as profound as ever.
The slides from the meeting can be downloaded here.