OPERA heart failure innovation shortlisted for top Award

The West of Scotland Innovation Hub's early Identification of Heart Failure in the Community project ‘OPERA’ has been shortlisted for top innovation award.

OPERA, which has identified several patient benefits including the potential to reduce waiting times for appointments from 12 months to 12 weeks, is in the running for the ‘Outstanding Collaboration with Industry’ category at the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and NHS Confederation’s Innovate Awards.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Research and Innovation team have been working with colleagues at the West of Scotland Innovation Hub, University of Glasgow on the project along with industry partners AstraZeneca UK and Lenus Health, with judges commenting on how impressed with the inspirational work taking place.

Professor David Lowe, Clinical Innovation Lead for the West of Scotland Innovation Hub and Consultant for Emergency Medicine at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. Early diagnosis of heart failure and rapid treatment is crucial in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death. The OPERA trial invited patients awaiting clinical review to a rapid multidisciplinary diagnostic service, ensuring that those diagnosed with heart failure could be started on treatment improving outcomes. Through digitisation of the heart failure diagnostics service in NHSGGC, we have been able to revolutionise the way we work to provide equitable and more timely access to heart failure diagnostics and heart failure care.

“OPERA is a great example of how NHS collaboration with academic and industry partners can impact on patients in a positive way. We will look to build on the momentum of this, and our other successes, to play our part in making the NHS the country’s most powerful driver of innovation to improve the lives of patients and the general public.”

The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and NHS Confederation  have come together for the first time through the inaugural Innovate Awards to celebrate the spirit of innovation shown by health and care when faced with unprecedented pressure.

The shortlisted entry, entitled 'Fixing Heart Failure', features the Optimised Pathway for Early Identification of Heart Failure in the Community (OPERA) project and describes the co-design process and successful early results achieved by remapping the service pathway to best utilise the Lenus platform and data integrations.

Ed Piper, Medical & Scientific Affairs Director, AstraZeneca UK, said “We are thrilled that the OPERA project is a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Collaboration with Industry’ Innovate Award. At AstraZeneca we believe purpose-led partnerships with Academic and NHS partners can drive healthcare system changes that benefit patients.

"The OPERA project dramatically reduced waiting times for patients with suspected heart failure from 12 months to under six weeks, allowing earlier diagnosis and treatment with the evidence-based treatments required to optimize future outcomes. It has been a fantastic example of how partnership working can deliver innovative solutions to drive clinical practice change and provide equitable access to high-quality care.”

Paul McGinness, Chief Executive Officer, Lenus Health, added, "We are delighted that the digital transformation enabled by Lenus has been recognised by the AHSN Network and NHS Confederation for an Innovate Award. This is especially encouraging as OPERA is also the first project being considered for national rollout across Scotland under a recently announced landmark partnership between NHS, academia and industry.

"We hope that the Innovate Awards are successful in their efforts to champion and drive adoption of innovative projects like OPERA across the UK to build a stronger health and care system for everyone."

Judges for the 'Outstanding Collaboration with Industry' Award include:

  • Helen Hoyland, Enterprise and Innovation Lead, YHAHSN
  • Simon Evans, Strategy Director, Royal Wolverhampton
  • Professor Simon Skene, Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Surrey
  • Stephanie Elsy, ICB Chair Designate, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICS

These experts will face a difficult decision selecting a winner among the high quality projects shortlisted. Winners for each of the ten categories, with an 11th grand prix prize, recognising the overall innovation champion of the year selected from among the winners, will be announced at a ceremony in London to be held on September 29, 2022.