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Patient Safety Learning

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  1. News Article
    Some 10,000 more deaths than usual have occurred in peoples’ private homes since mid June, long after the peak in Covid deaths, prompting fears that people may still be avoiding health services and delaying sending their loved ones to care homes. It brings to more than 30,000 the total number of excess deaths happening in people’s homes across the UK since the start of the pandemic. Excess deaths are a count of those deaths which are over and above a “normal” year, based on the average number of deaths that occurred in the past five years. In the past three months the number of excess deaths across all settings, has, in the main been lower than that of previous years. However, deaths in private homes buck the trend with an average of 824 excess deaths per week in people’s homes in the 13 weeks to mid-September. Experts are citing resistance from the public to enter hospitals or home care settings and “deconditioning” caused by decreased physical activity among older people shielding at home, for example not walking around a supermarket or garden centre as they might normally. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 September 2020
  2. Content Article
    Recommendations As a result of the national investigation, HSIB has made three safety recommendations to facilitate better understanding of the role of the ward-based pharmacist, and to encourage best practice and resilience when identifying and developing models of pharmacy provision. It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement carry out work to understand and further define the work of hospital clinical pharmacy teams, including the period between initial medicine reconciliation and discharge, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. It is recommended that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement, should provide guidance on models of hospital clinical pharmacy provision. The guidance should provide information on the models’ ability to enhance safety and healthcare resilience and include consideration of the appropriate skill mix and experience within the clinical pharmacy team. It is recommended that the NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service should update its resource on the prioritisation of hospital clinical pharmacy services to facilitate the dissemination of developments in good practice and policy with respect to pharmacy prioritisation and the issues highlighted in this report.
  3. News Article
    Hospitals have been ordered to allow partners and visitors onto maternity wards so pregnant women are not forced to give birth on their own. NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to all of the directors of nursing and heads of midwifery to ask them to urgently change the rules around visiting. The letter, which is dated 19 September and seen by The Independent, says NHS guidance was released on 8 September so partners and visitors can attend maternity units now “the peak of the first wave has passed”. “We thank you and are grateful the majority of services have quickly implemented this guidance and relaxed visiting restrictions,” it reads. “To those that are still working through the guidance, this must happen now so that partners are able to attend maternity units for appointments and births.” The letter adds: “Pregnancy can be a stressful time for women and their families, and all the more so during a pandemic, so it is vital that everything possible is done to support them through this time.” Make Birth Better, a campaign group which polled 458 pregnant women for a new study they shared exclusively, said mothers-to-be have been forced to give birth without partners and have had less access to pain relief in the wake of the public health crisis. Half of those polled were forced to alter their own childbirth plans as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak – while almost half of those who were dependant on support from a specialist mental health midwife said help had stopped. Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 September 2020
  4. Content Article
    Actions required Primary actions to be completed by 7 October 2020: Identify and locate affected devices in your organisation. Identify alternative ventilators available on site. If no suitable alternative available, and capacity is an issue currently or expected imminently, follow protocol for resource shortage escalation set out by your local governance. Train all relevant staff on alternative ventilators and ensure training records are up to date. When actions 1–4 are complete, remove affected V60s from use and quarantine until repaired by the manufacturer. Place the alternative devices into service in place of the affected V60s. You may continue to use affected V60s if there is a risk of severe patient harm due to lack of ventilator availability. A thorough risk assessment must be completed, and additional monitoring must be used. A backup form of ventilation must be available at all times. Secondary action to be completed by 23 December 2020: 8. Review procurement and stock policies to ensure you are not reliant on one manufacturer or model of ventilator.
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