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Found 207 results
  1. News Article
    Northern Ireland faces a massive challenge rebuilding health and social care in the wake of the first COVID-19 wave, Health Minister Robin Swann has said. Speaking at the Northern Ireland Assembly on Tuesday, Mr Swann said that the rebuilding process can secure better ways of delivering services but will require innovation, sustained investment and society-wide support. He said that services will not be able to resume as before and that rebuilding will be significantly constrained by the continuing threat from COVID-19 and the need to protect the public and staff from the virus. “Our health and social care system was in very serious difficulties long before Coronavirus reached these shores. The virus has taken the situation to a whole new level. The Health and Social Care system has had its own lockdown – services were scaled back substantially to keep people safe and to focus resources on caring for those with COVID-19." The Health Minister said that despite the pressures, there are opportunities to make improvements. “I have seen so many examples of excellence, innovation and commitment as our health and social care staff rose to the challenges created by COVID-19. Decisions were taken at pace, services were re-configured, mountains were moved. Staff have worked across traditional boundaries time and time again. I cannot thank them enough. We must build on that spirit in the months and years ahead. Innovations like telephone triage and video consultations will be embedded in primary and secondary care.” Mr Swann added that the health system can't go back to the way it was and that it must be improved. Read full story Source: Belfast Telegraph, 9 June 2020
  2. Content Article
    Key findings 1. We are in a public health crisis, but only our community connects it to underlying deficiencies with the healthcare system. The coronavirus pandemic is top of mind for everyone we polled, including those in our community and the general public. However, not surprisingly, our community has a much broader concern over access and availability of healthcare, at more than double than the general public. This is chiefly due to misgivings our community feels about how well the healthcare system serves patients on a range of areas, from safety to putting patients first to being generally accessible. 2. Bringing healthcare workers into patient safety meets the moment and expands the coalition Due to the pandemic, healthcare worker health has become a top concern. Now is the time to bring medical professionals into the patient safety conversation as they rank as one of the most important groups of people we should be caring for today. Utilizing this moment to bring them into the conversation as part of patient safety can help mobilize the public and our community in ways we haven’t seen previously 3. The community strives for preventing all medical error, not just that which leads to harm Even though medical error is a pervasive issue, there is optimism that error can be prevented and that we can make that change happen. Among our community 80% believe all or three-quarters of medical error can be prevented. 4. The patient safety movement needs to carry forth a message to the broader public for why incentivizing best practices leads to better outcomes and system-wide improvements in safety Our community believes providing incentives to organizations and people that practice good patient safety (51%) is more impactful than holding organizations accountable through punitive action (41%). This is flipped from the general public, where a majority say the better way of reducing harm is holding individual organization and people accountable.
  3. Content Article
    The SPSP website has many tools, resources and useful links, including: Patient Safety Climate Tool Patient Safety Climate Tool Guidance SPSP-Mental Health Measurement Plan
  4. Content Article
    View recording of the webinar To read more about our top highlights and takeaways from the webinar, and how we're using your questions and concerns to shape our work in non COVID-19 care and patient and staff safety, please see our blog. We'd love to hear more of your views and questions to help inform Patient Safety Learning's future webinars. Please share ideas for topics in our Community thread.
  5. Content Article
    The letter outlines five important challenges that will need to be addressed by leaders in government and the health and care system: How and when will appropriate infection prevention and control measures be available for all settings delivering care, and what impact will these have on capacity to reopen? How will the system understand the full extent of unmet need? How will the public’s fear of using NHS and social care services be reduced? What is the strategy for looking after and growing the workforce? Can the system improve as it recovers?
  6. Content Article
    It's been a busy few months to say the least. Preparing for the pandemic, sourcing correct personal protective equipment (PPE), redeploying staff, acquiring new staff, making ventilators, redesigning how we work around the constraints, writing new policies, new guidance, surge plans, and then the complex part… caring for patients. If I am honest, when this all started it felt exciting. Adrenaline was high, motivation was high, we felt somewhat ready. There was a sense of real comradeship. It felt like we were all working for one purpose; to safely care for any patient that presented to us in hospital. We were a little behind London by about 2–3 weeks, so we could watch from afar on how they were coping, what they were seeing and adapting our plans as they changed theirs. Communication through the ITU networks was crucial. Clinical work has been difficult at times. The initial confusion on what the right PPE to wear for each area added to the stress of hearing that our colleagues in other places were dying through lack of PPE. The early days for me were emotionally draining. However, this new way of dressing and level of precaution is now a way of life for us. I have come to terms that I am working in a high-risk area and I may become unwell, but following guidance and being fastidious with donning and doffing helps with ‘controlling’ my anxieties in catching the virus. Some parts of the hospital remained quiet. Staff had been redeployed, elective surgery cancelled and the flow of patients in the emergency department (ED) almost stopped. I remember walking through ED and thinking: where are the people who have had strokes? Have people stopped having heart attacks? Are perforated bowels not happening anymore? The corridor in ED is usually full. Ambulances queuing up outside, but for a good few weeks the ambulance bays were deserted. The news says over and over again "we must not overwhelm the NHS". I always have a chuckle to myself as the NHS has been overwhelmed for years, and each year it gets more overwhelmed but little is done to prevent winter surges, although it's not just winter. The surge is like a huge tidal wave that we almost meet the crest of, but never get there, and emerge out the other side. I sit in the early morning ITU meeting. We discuss any problems overnight, clinical issues, staffing and beds. We have seen a steady decline in the number of ITU patients with COVID over the last week or so. The number of beds free for COVID patients were plentiful. We have enough ventilators and staff for them. This is encouraging news. I take a sigh, thinking we may have overcome the peak. In the next breath, the consultant states that we don’t have any non COVID ITU beds. We have already spread over four different areas and are utilising over 50 staff to man these beds (usually we have 25 staff). So that’s where the perforated bowels, heart attacks and strokes are. The patients we are caring for had stayed at home too long. So long, that they now have poorer outcomes and complications from their initial complaint. These patients are sick. Some of the nurses who are looking after them are redeployed from other areas; these nurses have ITU experience, but have moved to other roles within the hospital. This wasn’t what they had signed up for. They were signed up for the surge of COVID positive patients. I’m not sure how they feel about this. As the hospital is ‘quiet’ and surgical beds are left empty, there is a mention of starting some elective surgery. This would be great. It would improve patient outcomes, patients wouldn’t have to wait too long, so long that they might die as a consequence. However, we don’t have the capacity. We have no high dependency/ITU beds or nurses to recover them. We would also have to give back the nurses and the doctors we have borrowed from the surgical wards and outpatients to staff ‘work as normal’, depleting our staff numbers further. Add to the fact that lockdown has been lifted ever so slightly, the public are confused, I’m confused. With confusion will come complacency, with complacency will come transmission of the virus and we will end up with a second peak. If we end up with a second peak on top of an already stretched ITU and reduced staffing due to the secondary impact on non COVID care, the NHS will be overwhelmed. This time we will topple off that tidal wave. It’s a viscious cycle that I’m not sure how we can reverse. My plea, however, is to ensure we transition out of this weird world we have found ourselves in together. We usually look for guidance from NHS England/Improvement, but no one knows how best to do this. The people who will figure this out is you. If your Trust is doing something that is working to get out of this difficult situation, please tell others. We are all riding the same storm but in different boats. I would say that I am looking forward to ‘business as usual’ – but I can’t bare that expression. Now would be a great time to redesign our services to meet demand, to involve patients and families in the redesign – to suit their needs. We have closer relationships now with community care, social care and primary care, we have an engaged public all wanting to play their part. Surely now is the time we can plan for what the future could look like together? The Government has announced that Ministers are to set up a ‘dedicated team’ to aid NHS recovery. We need to ensure that patient and staff safety is a core purpose of that team’s remit and the redesign of health and social care. Would you be interested in being on our panel for our next Patient Safety Learning webinar on transitioning into the new normal? If so, please leave a comment below.
  7. News Article
    The government said it will set up ‘dedicated team’ to look for innovative ways for the NHS to continue treating people for coronavirus, while also providing care for non-covid health issues. In its pandemic recovery strategy published today, the government also said step-down and community care will be “bolstered” to support earlier discharge from acute hospitals. The 60-page document contained little new information about plans for NHS services, but said: “The government will seek innovative operating models for the UK’s health and care settings, to strengthen them for the long term and make them safer for patients and staff in a world where COVID-19 continues to be a risk. “For example, this might include using more telemedicine and remote monitoring to give patients hospital-level care from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Capacity in community care and step-down services will also be bolstered, to help ensure patients can be discharged from acute hospitals at the right time for them". To this end, the government will establish a dedicated team to see how the NHS and health infrastructure can be supported for the COVID-19 recovery process and thereafter. Read full story Source: 12 May 2020
  8. Content Article
    The Committee identified the following health-related objectives of the lockdown withdrawal strategy: 1. Reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus. 2. Minimise loss of healthcare professionals and maximise their safety and availability to continue the work. 3. Increase case management capacity in existing hospitals and new hospitals. 4. Increase testing to eliminate community spread. 5. Ensure access to normal healthcare requirements of the population. 6. Maintain normal healthcare capacity during the coronavirus period. 7. Maintain public health initiatives (vaccinations, food/nutrition of children and pregnant/feeding mothers.
  9. Content Article
    It is no secret that social care was under immense pressure well before the spread of the COVID-19. Those involved in social care have been calling for the introduction of long-term reforms to ensure that it is fit for purpose, that care workers are invested in and that appropriate support is in place for unpaid carers. Going into the 2019 General Election, all parties recognised the need to reform the system and the Conservative Party was elected on a pledge to find a long-term solution for social care.[ As the impact of the pandemic now takes hold, the ability of the social care system to respond to these issues is beginning to come into focus. In this blog, we look at the emerging patient safety issues the pandemic is creating in the sector, focusing on four main areas: Staff safety and lack of access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The pandemic’s impact on existing social care and provision for non COVID-19 patients. The impact on carers and families of those receiving social care. The reporting of COVID-19 deaths outside of hospitals. In response to these issues, Patient Safety Learning have identified some essential steps that that can be taken at a national and local level to tackle some of the most urgent patient safety concerns: Staff safety PPE distribution to social care should be treated with the same urgency as it is for healthcare. Clear guidance should be provided on PPE requirements for specific social care roles. Clear guidance should be provided on what steps staff can take to report problems accessing PPE. Steps must be taken to ensure that there is enough staffing and volunteer capacity to enable staff to work safely. Patient safety All patients and social care service users should receive the care requirements outlined in their care packages. There should be clear guidance on what steps families and staff can take to report problems in service provision or to report safety concerns. Mitigating the impact on existing care and treatment The rollout of testing for COVID-19 in social care needs to increase as soon as possible to identify and isolate outbreaks. We need to work with care providers to support the continued provision of services and provide adequate staffing levels during this period. We must work with third sector organisations to help provide guidance and support for carers and families. We need to ensure that the extra funding committed to the healthcare system is also available to provide to social care.
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