In November 2022 we were delighted that the Dundas Medal was awarded to the team behind the SPOT app.
The SPOT app aims to revolutionise the way that opioids are prescribed, reducing error, cost to the NHS and safeguarding patients and staff. SPOT is the only CE-marked, clinically validated equianalgesic opioid converter in clinical practice.
Born out of a genuine clinical need, SPOT creator, Dr Roger Flint, was inspired to create an app to help other junior doctors and prescribers switch opioids safely, after a position he found himself in two weeks after graduating from medical school. Dr Flint commented:
Two weeks after starting work as an FY1, out of hours and covering three wards, I was asked to review a patient that had been admitted earlier that week at the end of her life. She had been receiving analgesia through a PEG tube which then became blocked. When I reviewed her, she was unable to receive any analgesia. I was asked to switch her to a sub-cutaneous infusion. I didn’t know how to do this and I consulted the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines. To a new prescriber, the choosing and changing opioid tables appeared complex and whilst I was desperate to relieve the patient’s suffering, I did not feel confident enough to perform the switch and risk using the wrong dose. I called my registrar for help. He advised me that he was unable to help me at present but that he would come as soon as he was able. In the end the patient waited until the night team started before she received her analgesia at the correct dose.
PATCH established the Dundas Medal in partnership with the The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, to recognise efforts to improve provision of palliative care for patients in hospital. The Dundas Medal is open to medical, nursing or paramedical individuals or teams working in any hospital setting in the UK.
Catriona Miller, Chair of PATCH commented:
We are so impressed and inspired by the excellent applications for the Dundas Medal each year as it continues to recognise those individuals and teams making a significant difference to palliative care provision in the UK. We have supported Dr Flint as he established the SPOT app and are delighted to see how well it has progressed and the recognition of this award helps to demonstrate its importance in the palliative care field. it will undoubtedly help clinicians safely prescribe opiate pain relieving medicine, reducing the risk of medication errors. Well done to Roger and the SPOT team.
PATCH (Palliation And The Caring Hospital) is the first charity to specifically support 24/7 specialist palliative care for patients in Scottish hospitals. It does this by funding hospitals to provide resources such as dedicated beds, staff training, advisory services and research.