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Found 201 results
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Content Article
    Each year in March, Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) serves as a spark for increasing safety. Initiated in 2002, the concept of PSAW was formed by New York State-based founder of the Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education and Advocacy, Ilene Corina. In 2003, Ilene then collaborated with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine founder Dr. Mark L. Graber and the National Patient Safety Foundation to establish the annual event. PSAW triggers the sharing of resources and experiences to initiate partnerships that propel patient safety work forward. Many in the field take advantage of the opportunity to build awareness of their inventiveness and motivate collective action toward enhancing patient safety. PSAW uses a wide range of communication methods to create energy and rejuvenate effort through the sharing of lessons learned and common goals. Buttons, posters, in-house newsletter articles, blogs, webinars, employee recognition awards, and poster presentations are all used to increase awareness. Earlier this month, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) partnered with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to host a Twitter chat that surveyed the experiences of participants on transitions, challenges and successes. Programmes highlighted during the discussion include the bundled handoff method I-PASS developed by a team at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School to enhance team communication. Twitter chat participants noted the importance of being able to adapt transitions tool to their environments. I-PASS leaders noted efforts to develop local champions to assist with the application of the bundle for use in the variety of situations patients and providers encounter throughout the care journey. The California Patient Safety Organization (CHPSO) hosted five free webinars during PSAW on a range of topics. One webinar focused on mitigating unconscious influences, or cognitive biases, that degrade relationships, decision making and care delivery. The speaker, Michelle van Ryn, President and Founder of the Institute for Equity & Inclusion Science, highlighted specific tactics, tools and educational programming to combat unconscious biases generated by gender and racial differences. She reviewed organisational conditions that facilitate biased interaction such as unsafe psychological culture and overwork. Dr van Ryn discussed valuable skill development tactics for increasing an individual’s management of their potential for implicit bias that focused on mindfulness, empathy, inclusion and partnership-building behaviours. Another high point of the week was the release of AHRQ’s Making Health Care Safer III report. This publication summarises the current evidence base on 47 patient safety practices targeting 17 areas of concern. For example, the chapter on sepsis discusses the evidence on manual or electronic screening tools for sepsis. The authors discuss the performance of currently used methods to determine patient susceptibility to sepsis to help ensure timely treatment initiation. While they concluded more evidence is required to determine outcome measures associated with screening methods, the authors shared links to examples of robust tools currently being used in US hospitals. Another focuses on infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms. One distinct practice review discusses hand hygiene, of particular relevance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The authors discuss the persistent weakness in hand-hygiene practice due to workload, lack of education and easily accessible supplies. The World Health Organization’s My Five Moments for Hand Hygiene programme is highlighted in this evidence covered as an important approach for implementing hand hygiene completeness into frontline care. Thirdly, patient and family engagement is covered as a patient safety practice relevant across the spectrum of care delivery. The authors discuss difficulties in tracking the evidence on engagement as a distinct element of patient safety. They highlight several studies on the topic and share resources to encourage adoption of activities that encourage patient involvement in their care. hub members should refer to the search strategies in the report (included as an appendix in each chapter) designed to review each discussed best practice. Leaders can use these vetted search strategies to keep current on the emerging evidence related to the initiatives they are implementing in their own organisations, targeting the specific challenges they are confronting in their own improvement work. Connecting with experts and recognising their contribution to change can motivate action. By providing stimuli, Patient Safety Awareness Week re-energises those on the front-line of safety. It facilitates expert conversation, knowledge sharing and evidence identification to keep our patient safety efforts and our patient safety leaders moving forward.
  9. News Article
    National NHS leaders are to take action over growing fears that the “unintended consequences” of focusing so heavily on tackling covid-19 could do more harm than the virus, HSJ has learned. NHS England analysts have been tasked with the challenging task of identifying patients who may not have the virus but may be at risk of significant harm or death because they are missing vital appointments or not attending emergency departments, with both the service and public so focused on covid-19. A senior NHS source familiar with the programme told HSJ: “There could be some very serious unintended consequences [to all the resource going into fighting coronavirus]. While there will be a lot of covid-19 fatalities, we could end up losing more ‘years of life’ because of fatalities relating to non-covid-19 health complications. “What we don’t want to do is take our eye off the ball in terms of all the core business and all the other healthcare issues the NHS normally attends to." “People will be developing symptoms of serious but treatable diseases, babies will be born which need immunising, and people will be developing breast lumps and need mammograms.” HSJ understands system leaders are hopeful that in the coming days they will be able to assess the scale of the problem, and the key patient groups, and then begin planning the right interventions and communications programme to tackle it. Read full story Source: HSJ, 5 April 2020
  10. News Article
    Doctors have been reminded not to prioritise coronavirus patients at the expense of others in new ethical guidance backed by royal colleges. There are increasing concerns that patients are not getting treatment for serious problems, including strokes or heart attacks, because they are afraid to go to hospitals. The guidelines were drawn up by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) amid worries that a shortage of ventilators and beds could force doctors to make difficult decisions on which patients get lifesaving treatment. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 2 April 2020