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South West Liver Unit improves care for patients with liver disease

Liver unit team photo

South West Liver Unit team

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is proud to announce it has become the first of five services nationally to achieve full accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians for liver services. The Improving Quality in Liver Services (IQILS) achievement ensures services are improved for patients with liver disease.

This means approximately two million people across the local and wider population in the Southwest region can be assured of high standards of care for liver disease, hepatology, hepatobiliary surgery and transplantation services.

The South West Liver Unit, based at Derriford Hospital, has been congratulated for its high standard of achievement and hard work. Dr James Ferguson, IQILS Clinical Lead said: “We would like to congratulate your staff for the high standard of achievement and for their hard work during the accreditation process.”

Amanda Clements, Hepatology Nurse Consultant at the University Hospitals Plymouth South West Liver Unit said: “This really demonstrates our service development, our growth, and how we share knowledge and skills with others, particularly through learning from our patients.

“Achieving this accreditation has involved years of hard work and reflects our ethos, Trust values and vision for our service. It hasn’t been an easy process and to see this achieved has been a career defining moment for me, having been involved in the hepatology department from day one. To see where we are today, and be accredited 21 years later is huge, and I admit I shed a tear. We would not have achieved it without like-minded colleagues, and it reflects the importance of collegial working, and people who share your vision and passion.”

The report said: ‘It was clear that the team work well together and are driven by improving patient care which is an obvious motivating factor for them all. The feedback from the patients we interviewed was outstanding. They feel they are receiving the best possible care and their voice is clearly heard within the service.’

Patients were given direct phone numbers for staff and felt confident they would get support if they had any concerns. Praise was also given for excellent remote consultations, meaning issues could be resolved without a long journey for a face-to-appointment, although in person appointments were always available.

The IQILS report also stated: ‘Patients commented that the team really cared about the quality and standard of the service and the personal attention they received. Where they were under different consultants for a number of conditions, or had been referred from different hospitals, they said there was a seamless transition and flow of information.’

Management of risk and acting on adverse events was highlighted as strong area, and research was also praised, with the department celebrated for having a good research portfolio. Additionally, staff in the department were said to have good support and training and development opportunities within their teams.

Assessors praised the service’s excellent leadership and said that medical, nursing and management were all working towards the same goals for continued improvement.

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