A CONSULTANT haematologist based at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital has won a national award for helping prevent strokes.

Dr Susie Shapiro, who works at the Oxford University Hospital’s Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre, received the patient safety award at the Royal College of Pathologists Excellence Awards on Wednesday.

Hundreds of thousands of patients in the UK take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots.

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For many years the drug warfarin has been the main option, although recently direct oral anticoagulants have expanded this choice.

These can have serious side effects, however, if not prescribed and monitored carefully.

Dr Shapiro led a one-year pilot project to work with local GPs and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Oxford Academic Health Science Network to improve knowledge about the use of the anti-blood clotting drugs.

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Carried out in 2017, it involved two specialist pharmacists providing an email and telephone advice service and educational sessions in GP practices.

It was estimated to have prevented 15 strokes and led to a permanent service being commissioned for Oxfordshire this year.

Professor Paresh Vyas, director of the Oxford Centre for Haematology, said: “This is a great example of how sharing knowledge with colleagues in primary care can lead to changes in practice and save lives.

"It would be great to see this rolled out nationally across the NHS."