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  1. News Article
    England’s poorest people get worse NHS care than its wealthiest citizens, including longer waiting for A&E treatment and worse experience of GP services, a new study has shown. Those from the most deprived areas have fewer hip replacements and are admitted to hospital with bed sores more often than people from the least deprived areas. With regard to emergency care, 14.3% of the most deprived had to wait more than the supposed maximum of four hours to be dealt with in A&E in 2017-18, compared with 12.8% of the wealthiest. Similarly, just 64% of the former had a good experience making a GP appointment, compared with 72% of those from the richest areas. Research by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation thinktanks found that the poorest people were less likely to recover from mental ill-health after receiving psychological therapy and be readmitted to hospital as a medical emergency soon after undergoing treatment. The findings sparked concern because they show that poorer people’s health risks being compounded by poorer access to NHS care. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 January 2020
  2. News Article
    England's care watchdog has carried out a no-notice inspection of an NHS trust at the centre of concerns over the possible preventable deaths of babies. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is investigating East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust but has not yet decided whether to prosecute. It comes as the trust is likely to be heavily criticised at an inquest into the death of baby Harry Richford. On Thursday, the BBC revealed significant concerns have been raised about maternity services at the trust, and a series of preventable baby deaths may have occurred there. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the trust's maternity services were subject to an unannounced inspection from the CQC. On Thursday night, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: "We are truly sorry for the death of baby Harry and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Harry's family. We accept that Harry's care fell short of the standard that we expect to offer every mother giving birth in our hospital and we are fully cooperating with the CQC's investigation into Harry Richford's death." Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 January 2020
  3. News Article
    LloydsPharmacy is piloting an innovative new service that offers extra help and support to mental health patients. Funded by The National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC), which is a partnership between The University of Manchester and Salford Royal, the pilot is being carried out in ten community pharmacies in Greater Manchester. The new service, referred to as AMPLIPHY, enables pharmacists to provide personalised support to people who have been newly prescribed a medicine for depression or anxiety, or those who have experienced a recent change to their prescription. The pilot programme has been funded and designed by researchers at the NIHR GM PSTRC in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy. Central to the programme is the ability for patients to lead the direction of support they receive. They set their own goals and objectives and the pharmacist supports them in these. Professor Darren Ashcroft, Deputy Director of the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC, said: "The NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC focuses on improving patient safety across four themes, which include Medication Safety and Mental Health. AMPLIPHY covers two of these areas and we believe it has the potential to make a difference to patients, by providing enhanced support for their care in the community." The pilot is set to run until April 2020 when its impact will be evaluated before a decision is made on the next steps. Read full story Source: News-Medical.net, 22 January 2020
  4. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) missed multiple opportunities to identify abuse of patients at a privately run hospital and did not act on the concerns of its own members, an independent review has found. Bosses at the CQC have been criticised in an independent report by David Noble into why the regulator buried a critical report into Whorlton Hall hospital, in County Durham, in 2015. His report published today said the CQC was wrong not to make public concerns from one of its inspection teams in 2015. “The decision not to publish was wrong,” his report said, adding: “This was a missed opportunity to record a poorly performing independent mental health institution which CQC as the regulator, with the information available to it, should have identified at that time.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 January 2020
  5. News Article
    At least seven preventable baby deaths may have occurred at one of the largest groups of hospitals in England since 2016, a BBC investigation has found. Significant concerns have been raised about maternity services at the trust. East Kent NHS Foundation Trust has apologised, saying it has "not always provided the right standard of care". The trust has struggled to improve maternity care for years, despite repeatedly being made aware of the problems. In 2015, the medical director asked experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to review maternity care, amid "concerns over the working culture". Their review, seen by the BBC, found poor team working in the unit, a number of consultants operating as they saw fit, a lack of performance management of the consultant body and out of date clinical guidelines. It highlights consultants who: failed to carry out labour ward rounds, review women, make plans of care or attend out of hours when requested rarely attended CTG training were reported "as doing their own thing rather than follow guidelines". Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 January 2020
  6. News Article
    Up to half of all patients who suffer an acute aortic dissection may die before reaching crucial specialist care, according to a new Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report. The report highlights the difficulty which can face hospital staff in recognising acute aortic dissection. The investigation was triggered by the case of Richard, a fit and healthy 54-year old man, who arrived at his local emergency department by ambulance after experiencing chest pain and nausea during exercise. It took four hours before the diagnosis of an acute aortic dissection was made, and he spent a further hour waiting for the results of a CT scan. Although Richard was then transferred urgently by ambulance to the nearest specialist care centre, he sadly died during the journey. The report has identified a number of risks in the diagnostic process which might result in the condition being missed. These include aortic dissection not being suspected because patients can initially appear quite well or because symptoms might be attributed to a heart or lung condition. It also highlighted that, once the diagnosis is suspected, an urgent CT scan is required to confirm that an acute aortic dissection is present. Gareth Owens, Chair of the national patient association Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland, welcomed the publication of HSIB’s report, saying: “HSIB’s investigation and report have highlighted that timely, accurate recognition of acute Aortic Dissection is a national patient safety issue. This is exactly what patients and bereaved relatives having been telling the NHS, Government and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine for several years." Read full story Source: HSIB, 23 January 2020
  7. Content Article
    Safety recommendations HSIB have made two safety recommendations to help improve the recognition of acute aortic dissection: The first is to add ‘aortic pain’ to the list of possible presenting features included in the triage systems used to prioritise patients attending emergency departments. The second recommends the development of an effective national process to help staff in emergency departments detect and manage this condition.
  8. Event
    B. Braun Medical Ltd are delighted to invite you to their 13th pharmacy seminar, dedicated to providing insight, information and guidance in relation to improving patient safety with injectable medicines. This seminar has been developed to provide a platform for the sharing of information and the stimulation of discussion on the best ways that trusts can act in order to improve patient safety. See flyer for further details: CPIS 2020 - Flyer.pdf
  9. News Article
    One of the country’s smallest trusts recorded 277 serious incidents over a two-year period, HSJ can reveal. Delays in treatment, missed diagnoses, adverse media coverage and “suboptimal” care were among the hundreds of serious incidents reported at the struggling Isle of Wight Trust from the start of 2018 and up to November 2019. There were also two never events in 2019 — a “wrong site” surgery and an incident in which a patient was mistakenly connected to an air flow meter, rather than an oxygen supply. The trust said the level of incidents did not neccessarily reflect poor care, and did not mean patients had come to harm. The trust was placed in special measures in April 2017 after it was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission due to “significant” concerns over patient safety. It was upgraded to “requires improvement” in September 2019, but remains in special measures. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 January 2020
  10. News Article
    Dementia patients are being dumped in hospitals in England because of a lack of community care, a charity says. The Alzheimer's Society called for action, highlighting data showing one in 10 dementia patients spends over a month in hospital after being admitted. The figures also suggested the overall number of emergency admissions among people with dementia is rising - with some patients yo-yoing back and forth. Ministers said they were "determined" to tackle the problems. Central to this, the government said, would be plans for reforming the social care system, which encompasses care home places and support in people's homes. Alzheimer's Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said people were falling through the "cracks of our broken social care system". "People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there. Many are only admitted because there's no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending more than twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 January 2020
  11. News Article
    Proposals by the Scottish Government to give a licence to unregistered professionals to carry out cosmetic procedures are “fundamentally flawed” and put lives at risk, leading nurses in the field have warned. A consultation has been launched seeking views on plans for a new regulatory regime of non-surgical aesthetic treatments that pierce or penetrate the skin like dermal fillers or lip enhancements. Ministers want to bring non-health professionals under existing legislation allowing them to obtain a licence to perform these procedures in unregulated premises such as beauty salons and hairdressers. The move comes after a UK-wide review carried out in 2013, by then NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, identified that little regulation existed within the cosmetic industry. Since then there has been growing concern that people are coming to physical and psychological harm from treatments gone wrong. Leaders at the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) told Nursing Times that they were “totally opposed” to non-medical practitioners carrying out injectable beauty procedures. BACN Chair Sharon Bennett said holding a medical, nursing or dentistry qualification should be a “basic prerequisite” before being accepted to an aesthetics training course. SHe said BACN believed even clinically trained practitioners, including nurses, needed further training in aesthetics before working in this “specialist” area. “[This is] because there is no educational framework, training or statutory provision to establish or task beauty therapists to detect disease, care for patients or carry out medical treatment, so to do so would breach public health safety and endanger lives.” Read full story Source: The Nursing Times, 20 January 2020
  12. Content Article
    Key findings The study findings suggest that the designation of a NE as a NE is dependent on the individual/type of NE and that NEs were reportedly rare. Although GPs were more likely to disagree with the NE label for the more frequently occurring NEs, this was not in proportion to their increased frequency of occurrence. Most GPs remained unconvinced that the risk can be eliminated for any of the NEs. GPs do, however, seem to take the actual and potential occurrence of such events seriously given that 99% stated an intention to undertake a significant event analysis after a NE. Opinions varied widely with some GPs commenting that the risk of serious harm was extremely low, whereas other GPs suggested that the NE should be more stringent. Some GPs felt that the NE description was placing a burden of responsibility on them that was not intended by the description of the NE; for example, that they should be responsible for the actions of a laboratory or the ambulance service. There were differences in opinion about the level of responsibility a GP should take for the actions of non-medical staff.
  13. News Article
    Herefordshire clinicians injected a patient in the wrong eye after a technical blunder, board papers have revealed. The Wye Valley Trust patient was injected with an antivascular endothelial growth factor to treat age-related macular degeneration. They did not come to harm as a result of the incident. The mistake occurred after the ophthalmology department deleted a poor quality image of one of the patient’s eyes. This shifted up the other images, which were stored sequentially using software called IMAGEnet6, which led to the mistake. Although initially reported as a “never event,” the incident was downgraded to a “serious incident” after a review by the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The trust, which is still using the software, is updating its standard operating procedure and has installed new technology that can take higher quality images. A spokesman said: “Patient safety is the trust’s priority. While no harm was caused to this patient, the trust has taken this incident seriously.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 January 2020
  14. News Article
    NHS England asked an “inadequate” hospital for people with learning disabilities and autism to admit a patient, despite the service having a “voluntary” ban on admissions in place — and shortly before inspectors decided to impose a legal restriction. The provider said it was an “exceptional case”, where the individual “had several failed placements”, and had stayed at the hospital — Jeesal Cawston Park in Norfolk — “in the past”. However, it appears to highlight the shortage of good quality accommodation and placements available and pressure on commissioners to make use of “inadequate” facilities. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 January 2020
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