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East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Qbtech and partners win national HSJ award for transforming ADHD care

QbTest - a pioneering project to support diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award for innovation in mental health.

 The HSJ Awards were held in London tonight and are the largest and most prestigious healthcare awards in the world.  Around 1700 healthcare professionals attended the ceremony to recognise and celebrate excellence in health and care services.

East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) worked with international medical technology company Qbtech Ltd and NHS partners to spread the use of QbTest - a uniquely designed Quantitative Behavioural measurement system which is reducing the time it takes to diagnose ADHD, improving patient experience and saving the NHS money.

QbTest is the only CE marked, EMA registered and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared intervention that measures a patient’s attention, impulsivity and motor activity all at the same time.  These indicators are core symptoms of ADHD and accurate measurement adds objectivity to support timely diagnosis. 

The EMAHSN-funded QbTest demonstrator project was launched in 2017 at seven NHS sites across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.  The EMAHSN and Qbtech’s collaboration with the East Midlands Trusts aimed to transform care within the region by using the computerised system - alongside traditional observation and interviews – to improve diagnosis and deliver significant savings to the NHS.

Evaluation of the project confirmed reduction in time to diagnosis by an average of 153 days and identified an average cost saving of 32.6%.Savings were achieved through a reduction in the number of appointments needed for diagnosis and by ruling out ADHD sooner for ambiguous cases. 

Objective computerised systems - like QbTest – also improve the experience of care for patients and their families who receive speedier diagnosis and appropriate treatment at the earliest opportunity.  Feedback on QbTest has been positive, with patients saying the results help them to better understand their diagnosis and clinicians welcoming the aid to more rapid diagnosis.

Following evaluation, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust announced in April 2018 that they would to continue to fund the provision of the QbTest for young patients and their families. 

Dara Coppel, Head of Innovation Programme Delivery at EMAHSN, presented QbTest to the HSJ judging panel in September.  She said:  “The judges were looking for a mental health innovation that is leading the way in delivering better services and evidence of financial savings alongside improved patient experience - our evaluation clearly demonstrates this.”

Chris Hart, Commercial Director at EMAHSN, said: “This award win is fantastic news for Qbtech, EMAHSN and its partners.  The success of QbTest provides a perfect example of the crucial role AHSNs play in bringing the NHS and industry together and accelerating the spread and uptake of innovations which significantly improve patient experience whilst also delivering cost savings to the NHS.

“Winning this award and the Trusts’ commitment to mainstreaming the funding for QbTest show that this is a sustainable and cost-effective solution for improving diagnosis of ADHD.”

Tony Doyle, Managing Director of Qbtech, commented: “This is well-deserved, national recognition for the exceptional hard work and collaboration of all those involved.  Qbtech is delighted to have had the support of EMAHSN as part of its journey in delivering the QbTest innovation. 

“As well as funding the demonstrator sites they have also provided an independent evaluation which has helped to accelerate the adoption of QbTest. We are now looking forward to working with them to spread this innovation across NHS Trusts in England - benefitting more patients and delivering more savings. 

Dr Julie Clarke, Consultant Paediatrician at United Lincolnshire Hospitals and Clinical Lead for the project said, “As a clinician with extensive experience in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, I can honestly say that the addition of QbTesting has revolutionised my clinical practice. The feedback from clinicians, parents and schools so far has all been extremely positive. We are already planning how we can extend the use of QbTests into other areas.”

EMAHSN is now liaising with additional NHS organisations in the East Midlands and beyond to consider how QbTest might be implemented in more NHS Trusts and healthcare settings. 

For more information on QbTest see the AHSN Network Atlas Case Study or contact Dara Coppel, Head of Innovation Programme Delivery at EMAHSN:

0115 823 1278 / dara.coppel@nottingham.ac.uk