KSS AHSN Newsletter – 1 May 2014

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Data reveals AKI prevalence

Many of you will have heard the recent item on Radio 4’s Today programme about the new study into the prevalence of acute kidney injury (AKI). Publication of The economic impact of acute kidney injury in England raises awareness of the scale and impact of AKI.

It affects so many patients and yet, in a significant number of cases, it’s preventable. The report concludes that up to 30 AKI patients die needlessly every day in England. An abstract of the report is available here.


The report’s authors include Dr Michael Bedford at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. By comparing records from hospital admission data, they found that potentially more than four in every five AKI cases escapes routine data collection. Taking all cases into account – in addition to the extent of patient suffering exposed – the condition could be costing the NHS up to £1billion annually.

No one wants to hear that things are much worse than we thought. But getting the real picture, by understanding and interrogating the data, is fundamental. Then commissioners and providers can concentrate efforts and resources in the right places.

Avoiding AKI

Across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the EQ service quality improvement programme reduces variation in clinical practice, in part through making better use of information, data and knowledge.

To quote Dr Ed Kingdon, EQ Clinical Lead for AKI, “Acute kidney injury is not a new problem. It may be seen in up to 20% of all acute admissions to hospital and a proportion of cases will develop after admission to hospital. Analysis of hospital episode statistics suggests AKI is associated with a 30% mortality at 30 days.”

Working with partners, our EQ programme has established ways to identify patients with AKI and piloted them in seven hospital trusts in KSS. At each one, all patients with AKI undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery or suffering pneumonia, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and dementia have their care audited. This creates a data set which empowers clinicians to improve care.

Data collection at scale and clinical collaboration across a number of trusts gives best practice and innovation the chance to flourish. It means health professionals are better equipped to prevent potential AKI or care for affected patients. It means more patients benefit more quickly.

Let me finish by quoting Dr Bedford: “Most people haven’t heard of AKI and most doctors overlook it. Improvements in basic care led by data can significantly improve clinical care and patient safety.”

If you’d like to hear more about how we speed up the adoption of existing best practice and the spread of the best new innovations, please get in touch.

Best wishes,

Guy Boersma
Managing Director, KSS AHSN

Partnership Day: preventable emergency admissions

Registration is now open for Preventable emergency admissions and integrated care: new insight and innovations.

This event is intended for senior leaders from industry, research and health and social care across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

For further information and registration, please click here.

Thousands of Hospital Kidney Deaths ‘Avoidable’

View the Sky News report following publication of The economic impact of acute kidney injury in England.

STFC CLASP 2014 Healthcare Launch Event

STFC Innovations Club is pleased to announce that the launch event for our new £1.5m Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) Healthcare funding call will be held on 20th May 2014.

For further information and event registration, please click here.

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