Met Office Wins Health And Social Care Innovation Award

The Met Office Health Forecasting Team has won the Innovative Services Award at the prestigious Health and Social Care Awards 2006. The award recognises an innovative new or improved service that is benefiting the delivery of healthcare for patients, users and carers.

The ground – breaking Met Office Health Forecasting Service alerts healthcare professionals and patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD] when weather conditions and respiratory infections are likely to increase the risk of a worsening of symptoms.

The Health Forecasting Service has contributed to a reduction in hospital admissions for COPD by up to 75% across participating GP practices. Dr Tish Laing-Morton, Clinical Director at the Met Office said, “This is tremendous news, but more importantly the forecast service helps patients to understand their condition, know better how to self care, and achieve their potential for independence and wellbeing.”

The innovative service was developed in a unique collaboration between the Met Office and the NHS and includes educational packs for patients and training sessions for clinicians.

Future developments in the service will bring the health forecasts and education directly to the patient through an automated telephone service, currently being trialled in Cornwall and Kent.