Activate award winner Joanne McPeake: preventing readmission of critical care patients

"I am delighted to received this award from the WCMT Activate fund.  Now more than ever, survivors of critical care require support to reintegrate into their home life.  This award will support patients and their family members as well the health service." - Joanne McPeake, Fellow

The problem

Following discharge from hospital after a critical care admission, many patients return to hospital under emergency circumstances. This can have a significant impact on the individual, their family and the NHS.

The Activate award

Nurse Consultant Joanne McPeake (CF 2011) has been given a grant from the Activate Fund to launch a project to explore the reasons for this, and to reduce the rate of readmission. Additionally, Jo aims to improve the transition from hospital to home for patients. Jo will interview patients, caregivers and NHS staff across different hospitals, in order to understand how this renewed contact with the NHS could have been avoided. The main output from this study will be the creation of an integrated pathway for critically ill patients leaving the acute hospital setting.

The award recipient

Joanne is a Nurse Consultant nurse based in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011 to investigate how to improve outcomes for patients recovering from a period of critical illness. She spent four weeks in the USA visiting various Intensive Care Units, exploring the use of different techniques to improve short and long-term outcomes for patients.

As a result of her Fellowship, Joanne developed the first Patient and Family Advisory Council in the UK, which provided a forum for patients and families to suggest improvements in quality and safety for hospital processes, and has enabled understanding of the challenges that patients and caregivers face during and following critical care.

Working with other members of the multidisciplinary team in the ICU in Glasgow, Joanne has also helped to create InS:PIRE (Intensive Care Syndrome: Promoting Independence and Return to Employment), an innovative five-week integrated health and social care rehabilitation programme for ICU survivors. In 2016, this model of care was scaled up to another five sites across four health boards in Scotland, in partnership with the Health Foundation and the Scottish Government.

The Activate Fund

Joanne’s award is a grant from the Activate Fund. This is a new programme from WCMT which supports the activation or acceleration of Churchill Fellows’ projects. It provides dedicated funds, advice and support during the key period when Fellows first return from their research overseas, and start to make change happen in the UK.

The Activate Fund is a three-year pilot project, making its first grants in 2020. The Activate grants total £101,000, making an average grant of £14,400. The scheme has been developed in consultation with Fellows, to respond to their practical needs.

View Joanne McPeake's profile

Fellows wishing to apply can find out more in the Fellows’ area of our website.

Find out more about the Activate Fund

Read Jo's report