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  1. Today
  2. Content Article
    This handbook produced by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is designed to help NHS governing bodies and audit committees in reviewing and reassessing their system of governance, risk management and control. This is to make sure the governance remains effective and fit for purpose, whilst also ensuring that there is a robust system of assurance to evidence it.
  3. Content Article
    Justice for Doctors is a not-for-profit organisation. Their aim is to provide support and guidance to doctors and other healthcare professionals who have experienced or are experiencing discrimination, harassment, and bullying, and feel targeted because of whistleblowing. On 16 May 2024, Justice For Doctors held a landmark conference about doctors speaking up for patient safety at the Royal Society of Medicine. This opinion piece by Dr Annabel Bentley is part of a series on “safe spaces”. In it she reflects on the conference and some of the experiences shared by the doctors, journalists and patients who attended. 
  4. News Article
    An artificial intelligence (AI) system that sends text messages to alert hospital physicians about the high risk for mortality in their patients reduces the number of deaths, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. Chin-Sheng Lin, PhD, associate professor of cardiology at the Tri-Service General Hospital of the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, and his colleagues have developed an AI system that identifies patients with a high risk for mortality on the basis of a 12-lead ECG. The system is intended to identify patients who would benefit from intensified care. "It is widely acknowledged that providing intensive care to critically ill patients reduces mortality. Delays in providing intensive care for critically ill patients result in catastrophic outcomes. Most in-hospital cardiac arrests are potentially preventable; however, the early signs of deterioration might be difficult to identify," wrote the researchers. The authors emphasized that exactly how the AI warning messages lead to a decrease in overall mortality must still be clarified. But the results suggest that they help in detecting high-risk patients, triggering timely clinical care, and reducing mortality, they wrote. Read full story Source: Medscape, 21 May 2024
  5. Content Article
    Home dying is a policy indicator of ‘quality dying’ in many high-income countries, but there is evidence that people living in areas of higher deprivation have a reduced likelihood of dying at home. However, there is limited research which centres the views and experiences of people living with both socioeconomic deprivation and serious advanced illness. This study used visual methods to address this gap in knowledge, focusing on barriers to and experiences of home dying for people experiencing poverty and deprivation in the UK. The authors used photovoice and professional documentary photography between April 2021 and March 2023 with eight participants with serious advanced illness, six of whom had died by the end of the study. They also worked with four bereaved family members to create digital stories.
  6. Content Article
    In this long read, inews health correspondent Paul Gallagher looks at the processes now in place to ensure patient safety in blood transfusions and mitigate the risk of another infected blood scandal. He talks to Will Irving, Professor of Virology at the University of Nottingham, who outlines at although the risk is low, there may be transmission risks associated with blood transfusions that we are not yet aware of. The article also describes the work of the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) committee, which has been collecting and analysing anonymised information on adverse events and reactions in blood transfusion from all healthcare organisations that are involved in the transfusion of blood and blood components in the UK since 1996.
  7. News Article
    England's patient safety commissioner says her calls for changes following failings highlighted in three health scandals are "falling on deaf ears". Dr Henrietta Hughes made the comments at a meeting in Westminster on Tuesday of MPs and campaigners of medical scandals. It comes after Sir Brian Langstaff's highlighted a decades-long "subtle, pervasive, chilling" cover-up by successive governments and the NHS in the conclusion of his report on the infected blood scandal. Like the victims of that scandal, those affected by epilepsy drug Valproate, as well as vaginal mesh implants, and the hormone pregnancy test Primodos, are also waiting on the government to implement a redress scheme. The three campaign groups have already had a combined review. In July 2020, the Cumberlege review found similar failings to the blood scandal: damaging products, poor regulatory decisions, and one government after another refusing to accept wrong had been done. In February this year, the patient safety commissioner set out her "blueprint" of a redress scheme for victims. However, Ms Hughes, who attended the First Do No Harm All Parliamentary group meeting, said on Tuesday: "I'm itching to get the changes that are needed, but I feel my words are falling on deaf ears." Read full story Source: Sky News, 21 May 2024
  8. News Article
    Attacks on health workers, hospitals and clinics in conflict zones jumped 25% last year to their highest level on record, a new report has found. While the increase was largely driven by new wars in Gaza and Sudan, continuing conflicts such as Ukraine and Myanmar also saw such attacks continue “at a relentless pace,” the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition said. Researchers recorded more than 2,500 incidents of “violence against or obstruction of healthcare” in 2023, including the killing or kidnapping of health workers and the bombing, looting and occupation of hospitals. The coalition called for national and international prosecutions of “war crimes and crimes against humanity involving attacks on the wounded and sick, health facilities and health workers.” Its report highlighted cases of attacks on children’s hospitals and sites running immunisation campaigns, leaving people vulnerable to infectious diseases. It also warned of a new trend in which drones armed with explosive weapons are used to target health facilities. Leonard Rubenstein, of the Johns Hopkins school of public health, who chairs the coalition, said violence inflicted on healthcare workers and facilities had “reached appalling levels”. The report included examples where workers had been deliberately targeted, and others where combatants were reckless or indifferent to the harm caused, he said. “The lack of restraint we are seeing, from the beginning of conflicts, suggests to me that the law on protecting healthcare has had no meaning to combatants.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 May 2024
  9. News Article
    A former Team GB rower claims a treatment she underwent for long Covid leaves participants feeling "blamed" for being ill. Oonagh Cousins was offered a free place on a course run by the Lightning Process, which teaches people they can rewire their brains to stop or improve long Covid symptoms quickly. Ms Cousins, who contracted Covid in March 2020, said it "exploits" people. However, the programme's founder denied it blames patients for their illness, saying that was completely at odds with the concepts of the programme Ms Cousins had reached a career goal many athletes can only dream of - being selected for the Olympics - when she developed long Covid. By the time the cancelled 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were rescheduled for 2021, Ms Cousins was too ill to take part. When she went public with her struggles, she was approached by the Lightning Process. It offered her a free place on a three-day course, which usually costs around £1,000. "They were trying to suggest that I could think my way out of the symptoms, basically. And I disputed that entirely," the former rower said. "I had a very clearly physical illness. And I felt that they were blaming my negative thought processes for why I was ill." She added: "They tried to point out that I had depression or anxiety. And I said 'I'm not, I'm just very sick'." Prof Danny Altmann, a leading long Covid researcher, says such behavioural approaches disregard the "mass" of underlying damage in patients that can be measured in tests. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 May 2024
  10. News Article
    The chief executive of an acute trust operating in one of the country’s most troubled healthcare economies has admitted his organisation is struggling to get the most from its top of the range electronic patient record system three years after rollout. Royal Devon University Healthcare Foundation Trust implemented the Epic EPR in October 2020, but the system is still causing problems with reporting performance. In an interview with HSJ, chief executive Sam Higginson described Epic as a “Rolls-Royce of an EPR”, but he added: “For lots of different reasons we’re still driving it a little bit like it’s a Ford Focus. He added: “We assumed by installing an EPR that basically it would have a sufficient level of functionality that we could switch off pretty much everything else. But then you find actually it doesn’t quite have the functionality you thought it did, or you don’t quite know how to use it.” However, Mr Higginson said the trust’s use of the EPR was improving “every month”, and the trust is testing a new cancer reporting module which it hopes will resolve the reporting problems. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 May 2024
  11. Content Article
    This is part of our series of Patient Safety Spotlight interviews, where we talk to people working for patient safety about their role and what motivates them. Mark talks to us about his role as a National Patient Safety Partner (PSP). He explains the important role that PSPs play at national, regional and local levels of the healthcare system and identifies key opportunities and challenges they face in bringing the voice of patients and families at a strategic level. He also highlights the challenge of implementing the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) across a diverse range of providers and the complexities arising where PSIRF interfaces with systems and processes outside of the NHS.
  12. Content Article
    This qualitative study looked at healthcare professionals perceptions of patient safety culture in Ghana. It was conducted with 42 healthcare professionals in two regional government hospitals in Ghana from March to June 2022. The authors note that despite positive attitudes and knowledge of patient safety, healthcare professionals expressed concerns about the implementation of patient safety policies outlined by hospitals. They also highlighted that there was a perception that curriculum training on patient safety during school education and the availability of dedicated officers for patient safety at their facilities may help improve patient safety.
  13. Content Article
    This is the transcript of a statement in the House of Commons by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, John Glen MP, in response to the publication of the final report of the Infected Blood Inquiry. He sets out plans for a proposed scheme to provide compensation to those infected and affected by this scandal. This was followed by comments from other members of the House of Commons.
  14. Content Article
    This is the transcript of a statement in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, in response to the publication of the final report of the Infected Blood Inquiry. He apologises for the failure in blood policy and blood products, the repeated failure of the state and medical professionals to recognise the harm caused by this and for the institutional refusal to face up to these failings. He also says that the Government will pay comprehensive compensation to those infected and affected by this scandal. This statement is followed by a response from the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer MP, and comments from other members of the House of Commons.
  15. Yesterday
  16. Event
    How can you mitigate surgical errors in your operating theatre? What human factors would you consider in your planning? How does culture play a role in risk? Join Professor Peter Brennan, consultant surgeon at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, as he leads our upcoming webinar on human factors. Join the discussion on changing culture, minimising surgical errors and improving patient safety. Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) England members attend for free. Register here
  17. Content Article
    This cross-sectional study, published in Cureus, was conducted among 423 nurses working at tertiary care hospitals in the Al-Jouf region in Saudi Arabia. The authors note that participants valued the aspects of teamwork within units, organisational learning-continuous improvement, and overall perceptions of patient safety as areas of strength and important elements of patient safety culture. However, they also highlighted areas of concern that need improvement, such as nonpunitive response to errors, handoffs and transitions, communication openness, staffing, and frequency of events reported.
  18. Content Article
    In vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices are used to examine samples taken from the human body and to diagnose and monitor health conditions. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are seeking views on a new policy would require manufacturers to comply with additional measures for certain high risk IVDs, such as blood tests used to identify blood type before transfusions or tests which identify life-threatening diseases, introducing harmonised requirements for these products. The consultation closes at 11.59pm on 14 June 2024.
  19. Content Article
    Recognising the profound impact of aortic dissection on loved ones and healthcare professionals, the team at Hull Royal Infirmary identified a critical need for improvement. As a result, the team has enhanced the diagnostic detection of aortic dissection by integrating Human Factors insights and leveraging the experiences of patients, earning them the 2023 Health Services Journal Patient Safety Award. Hull Royal Infirmary's innovative approach has significantly improved aortic dissection diagnosis, reducing missed cases and enhancing patient outcomes.
  20. Content Article
    The intended audience for these guidelines from the World Health Organization, is clinicians (doctors, nurses, Infection Prevention Control professionals, etc.) involved in the management of patients who require intravascular catheters. However, to ensure an appropriate, practical, clinical adherence to the guidelines, hospital administrators and other professionals involved in health care need to understand their importance and the focus of the recommendations to ensure appropriate support for clinicians. Patients are also part of the audience of these guidelines as they need to be generally informed about practices performed for their care and, in some cases, understand the choice of the intervention(s).
  21. News Article
    For the past 16 years, I have run a small community pharmacy in rural west Dorset. My business is older than me – the little yellow-brick building I own is about to turn 235. Right now, I am really concerned about it getting through the next 12 months. In my years as a pharmacist, I have never seen things as bad as they are at the moment. We are going through a period of rampant drug shortages in England, caused by global shortages, the NHS’s insistence on paying unsustainably low prices for medicines and Brexit, among other things, and people are on the brink. Long gone are the days when customers could place a prescription order safe in the knowledge their life-saving medication would arrive the next day. Read full story Source: Guardian, 17 May 2024
  22. News Article
    The NHS’s leading wheelchair provider has been told to urgently improve its complaints system by the health service ombudsman amid concerns disabled people are waiting up to two years for chairs. The parliamentary and health service ombudsman (PHSO) took the unusual step of writing to AJM Healthcare after a sharp rise in complaints from wheelchair users. Most related to people not receiving new wheelchairs or the correct parts. The waits range from a month to two years, the ombudsman said. Read full story Source: Guardian 21 May 2024
  23. News Article
    Rishi Sunak has promised to pay "comprehensive compensation" to people affected by the infected blood scandal. The prime minister said the government would pay "whatever it costs" following a damning report on the scandal, external, which saw 30,000 people infected. A public inquiry found authorities had exposed victims to unacceptable risks and covered up the NHS's biggest treatment disaster. The government will set out compensation details on Tuesday. Ministers have reportedly earmarked around £10bn for a compensation package. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 May 2024
  24. Content Article
    The use of restrictive interventions, such as mechanical restraints, has been a common practice in behavioural health settings since the field’s early infancy. The use of restraints has a harmful impact on both patients and providers alike, working against the therapeutic treatment environment aimed to support the healing journey. In this quality improvement project, the use of mechanical restraints was fully eliminated from a 252-bed inpatient setting in the US. This was achieved using a strategy of leadership, workplace development and data, and performance was sustained over the following year.
  25. News Article
    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologised for the infection of around 30,000 people with contaminated blood products, and the failure to address the problem. Mr Sunak accepted the findings of Sir Brian Langstaff's inquiry report: "Was there a cover-up? Let me directly quote him - there has been". Watch the recording Source: BBC News, 20 May 2024
  26. Content Article
    Hugh Pym and Chloe Hayward speak about the Infected Blood Inquiry in this 30 minute piece from the BBC, one of the worst treatment disasters in NHS history. 
  27. Content Article
    This study in Surgery aimed to assess the impact of presenting the STOPS framework (stop, talk to your team, obtain help, plan, succeed) on how surgeons cope in the operating room. It also looked at the related outcome of burnout and examined sex differences. The results suggest that there is evidence of efficacy in the STOPS framework—female surgeons who were presented this material reported higher levels of coping in the operating room compared to those who did not receive the framework. In addition, an increase in coping ability was associated with reduced levels of burnout for both genders.
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