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Found 100 results
  1. Content Article
    Central to the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) is the requirement for healthcare organisations to be proactive in how they respond to and learn from patient safety incidents. This article from legal firm Kennedys considers the implications of PSIRF on healthcare organisations’ legal and governance teams. In particular, considering practical steps that may be adopted, as an example, in the context of preparing for an inquest.
  2. Content Article
    Thomas Ithell was aged 77 at the time of his death on 20 November 2022. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2017 and biopsies revealed bilateral adenocarcinoma of the prostate. He underwent radiotherapy in 2018 and hormone deprivation treatment. From April 2021 onwards his PSA levels increased periodically. In October 2021 his level was 5.5ng/ml having been 1.5ng/m lin April 2021 and 2.7ng/m in July 2021 indicating a recurrence of the cancer and likely incurable. Thomas Ithell was reluctant to undergo further hormone treatment as he found tolerating the side effects difficult. He did not then have his PSA levels tested after November 2021 and was not reviewed at all due to becoming missed to follow up. After he had been seen by the nurse practitioner on 5 November 2021, the letter written by the nurse practitioner for advice from the consultant did not reach the consultant. He was reviewed by a consultant on 22 October 2022 after an urgent suspected cancer GP referral following routine set of blood tests in September 2022, some 10 months later. Mr Ithell died in hospital on 20 November 2022 having been admitted with shortness of breath, the malignancy having caused his death.
  3. Content Article
    "Our #health system in the UK is in a mess. It has failed to modernise (by this I mean to become fully accountable to #patients and the public, and truly patient-led). Instead, the system has become more and more hierarchical, bureaucratic and crony ridden, mostly as a result of constant meddling and pointless reorganisations instigated by politicians. All political parties in government for the past 30 years have had a hand in this decline." This is my view? What is yours? A new Inquiry gives us all an opportunity to have our say. I am proud to have worked in and for the NHS for most of my working life; proud to have been trained in the #NHS and proud of the work being carried out by clinical teams today. Great work which has benefited patients, often not because of the leadership but despite of the leadership. I'm retired so I can say what I like. If I were working and said anything even vaguely like criticism, however constructive it was, I would be out of a job and my career would be blighted for life. I'm speaking from experience here, unfortunately. I urge everyone to respond to the consultation (link below). In your response think forensically and write it as a statement of truth. Acknowledge the successes and areas that have delivered safe and effective services. If you are being critical give examples and say if it is an opinion or back up what you say with evidence. If we work together across boundaries we can develop a truly patient-led NHS.
  4. Content Article
    Recurring problems with patient safety have led to a growing interest in helping hospitals’ governing bodies provide more effective oversight of the quality and safety of their services. National directives and initiatives emphasize the importance of action by boards, but the empirical basis for informing effective hospital board oversight has yet to receive full and careful review. This article presents a narrative review of empirical research to inform the debate about hospital boards’ oversight of quality and patient safety.
  5. Content Article
    Lessons from service and system failures describe the pivotal roles played by governance and leadership in delivering high-quality, safe care. This 'Element' publication from Cambridge Core, sets out what the terms governance and leadership mean and how thinking about them has developed over time. Using real-world examples, the authors analyse research evidence on the influence of governance and leadership on quality and safety in healthcare at different levels in the health system: macro level (what national health systems do), meso level (what organisations do), and micro level (what teams and individuals do). The authors describe behaviours that may help boards focus on improving quality and show how different leadership approaches may contribute to delivering major system change. The Element presents some critiques of governance and leadership, including some challenges that can arise and gaps in the evidence, and then draws out lessons for those seeking to strengthen governance and leadership for improvement. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
  6. Content Article
    This book sets out what the terms governance and leadership mean, and how thinking about them has developed over time. Using real-world examples, the authors analyse research evidence on the influence of governance and leadership on quality and safety in healthcare at different levels in the health system: macro level (what national health systems do), meso level (what organisations do) and micro level (what teams and individuals do). The authors describe behaviours that may help boards focus on improving quality and show how different leadership approaches may contribute to delivering major system change.
  7. News Article
    Moving less complex procedures out of operating theatres and into other care settings to free up capacity to support elective recovery has ‘inadvertently’ increased the risk of ‘never events’ at an acute trust, a report has warned. The warning was made in a report into four never events at North Bristol Trust’s Southmead Hospital between November 2022 and January 2023 – two of which involved the same patient. The review was commissioned by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire integrated care board to examine common issues in never events involving invasive procedures. It found an increase in never events when procedures were moved away from operating theatres to other care settings. The review found moving procedures from theatres to outpatient or day case facilities to “support the reduction in the [elective] backlog and improve the waiting times for patients… may also inadvertently increase the risk of never events”. It added: “It is likely that a theatre environment has more established and embedded safety control mechanisms. Governance processes in moving such procedures should consider the impact on quality, for example, the gaps between safety processes and consideration of the minimum requirements for the new procedure location.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 29 November 2023
  8. Content Article
    The government recently published terms of reference for the Thirlwall Inquiry following the crimes committed by former neonatal nurse Lucy Letby while working for the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. As well as examining the detail of the offences, the inquiry will also probe whether the trust’s culture, management, governance structures and processes contributed to the failure to protect babies. In the wake of this tragedy, it became apparent that staff had sounded the alarm about Lucy Letby, but that their concerns were not acted on. The case has propelled the issue of NHS management structures and the regulation of managers back into the headlines and made it the subject of political debate. 
  9. Content Article
    Patient Safety Partners (PSPs) are being recruited by NHS organisations across England as part of NHS England’s Framework for involving patients in patient safety. PSPs can be patients, relatives, carers or other members of the public who want to support and contribute to a healthcare organisation’s governance and management processes for patient safety.  In this blog, Chris Wardley, PSP at a large NHS hospital trust, introduces the Patient Safety Partners Network (PSPN). Chris describes his own experience of starting as a PSP, talks about the large scope of the role and highlights the unique opportunity to influence how an organisation approaches patient safety. He also invites PSPs to join the new network, talking about how it is already helping PSPs in England share learning as they shape their new roles.
  10. Content Article
    Healthcare Organisational Culture (OC) is a major contributing factor in serious failings in healthcare delivery. Despite an increased awareness of the impact that OC is having on patient care, there is no universally accepted way to measure culture in practice. This study from Simpson et al. was undertaken to provide a snapshot as to how the NHS is currently measuring culture. Although the study is based in England, the findings have potential to influence the measurement of healthcare OC internationally.
  11. Content Article
    In this opinion piece, BMJ journalist Clare Dyer examines how the healthcare system is grappling with the question of how Lucy Letby was allowed to get away with killing babies in plain sight for so long. She looks at culture and governance issues that meant that concerns raised by consultants were not appropriately acted on.
  12. 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. Jenny talks about the challenge of keeping up with and prioritising new guidance and the need to streamline recommendations to ensure they are implemented efficiently. She also discusses the importance of getting the basics, like staffing levels, right and how sea swimming has influenced how she sees patient safety.
  13. Content Article
    On 18 August 2023, Lucy Letby was found guilty of murdering seven babies and convicted of trying to kill six other infants at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Looking ahead to the forthcoming independent inquiry into this case, Patient Safety Learning, reflecting on the inquiries of the past, sets out some key patient safety themes and issues that should be considered as part of this.
  14. News Article
    The purpose of Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings has been a hotly contested question since the creation of the four category classifications in the last decade. The original idea was to give the public a sense of how good their local hospital was, as well as providing commissioners, system managers and government with an idea of whether the local, regional or national health services they had responsibility for were getting better or worse. The practicality of the first aim was always questionable given the public’s inability and unwillingness, in most cases, to take their custom elsewhere. The second ran into the lack of desire and/or courage on behalf of most commissioners to challenge their local provider, but it did seem to have traction at the top of the shop. Jeremy Hunt, told HSJ, once they had been dished out across the sector, that their CQC classification now mattered much more then whether or not it had achieved foundation status or not. Another function, whether intended or not, was that by splashing “inadequate” and unsafe care on the front pages, in the wake of the Francis report, CQC ratings fuelled a drive to put more staff on the wards (forcing the Treasury to pay for the consequent agency bills and deficits, and curtailing Simon Stevens’ transformation funds). Whatever your take on their purpose, however, they only make sense if they accurately reflect the state of the service. And the latest data suggests that may not be the case. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 March 2022
  15. Content Article
    A patient participation group (PPG) is a group of people who are patients of a GP surgery and want to help it work as well as it can for patients, doctors and staff. The NHS requires every practice to have a PPG. In this blog, Alan Bellinger reflects on what he has learned during his time as chair of his GP surgery's PPG, highlighting three key lessons: Be collaborative not combative If patients don’t engage with the PPG it’s your fault for not being engaging Never lose sight of the value-add you create for the practice
  16. Content Article
    Integrated care systems are now legally responsible for leading a localised approach that brings multiple aspects of the healthcare system closer together, and for working better with social care and other public services. However, this is not a new aspiration, so why should it be any different this time? The Nuffield Trust hosted a series of roundtables to discuss concerns with stakeholders and experts to try and understand how to ensure the aims are achieved. This report summarises these findings and offers ways forward as the new era gets underway.
  17. Content Article
    These practical guides from NHS England are suitable for those working at all levels in the health service, from ward to board. They provide information on how to make better use of data. Guides include: Making data count - getting started Making data count - strengthening your decisions
  18. Content Article
    In this blog, Jonathan Back, Intelligence Analyst at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), looks at the opportunities the healthcare system has to adopt proactive risk management to improve patient safety. He highlights that understanding the value of different perspectives may provide new opportunities for improvement if applied across the health and care system. He also outlines the role of the new integrated care boards (ICBs) in achieving this whole-system approach, which should include a clinical governance perspective, organisational and local system perspective and societal perspective.
  19. News Article
    The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) have today launched a “refresh” of its Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF), designed to further improve the safety and quality of care independent providers deliver to patients. Initially launched in October 2019, the MPAF – led by former National NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh – contains key principles to strengthen and build upon the medical governance systems already in place in the sector and sets out expected practice in a number of key areas. Care Quality Commission (CQC) now uses the framework’s principles in assessing how well-led an independent service is, with the framework a requirement of the NHS’ 2022/23 Standard Contract which all independent sector providers of NHS-funded care must adhere to. The MPAF was always designed to be a “live document” and today’s refresh strengthens the framework to ensure it remains in-keeping with current best practice in the health system. This includes taking into account recommendations from the Bishop of Norwich’s inquiry into Ian Paterson, as well as Baroness Cumberlege’s Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (IMMDS). Key areas strengthened in the refresh include giving more prominence to expectations around patient consent, and the need to have greater transparency around conflict of interest declarations. New initiatives such as the Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) service are also reflected in the refreshed framework, as well as an IHPN Development Plan which sets how the network will support providers to continue to implement the MPAF. David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) said: “IHPN are delighted to be launching today a new refresh of our Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF), reflecting the independent health sector’s commitment to continuously improving the safety and quality of care they deliver to millions of patients every year. “Since the MPAF was launched in 2019, independent healthcare providers – with the support of CQC and NHS England – have really embraced the framework, using it to review and update their practices to further raise the bar in medical leadership in the sector. “With a continued focus amongst the entire healthcare system around improving patient safety and quality, this framework ensures providers adhere to the latest medical governance practices. “This will not only ensure greater consistency around how clinicians work across the independent sector and NHS, but also give confidence to patients that independent healthcare providers are committed to delivering the safest possible care”. Read press release Source: Independent Healthcare Providers Network, 26 September 2022
  20. Content Article
    A number of serious concerns have been raised about the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, relating to patient safety, governance processes and organisational culture. The Trust has been under review by the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB), following a junior doctor at the trust, Dr Vaishnavi Kumar, taking her own life in June 2022. In response to these concerns, a series of rapid independently-led reviews have been commissioned at the Trust. This report outlines the outcomes of the first of these reviews, which is focused on clinical safety. It identified a number of issues which require attention, setting out 17 recommendations for further action.
  21. Content Article
    Governance operates at multiple levels. Regular health service reforms can create new and complex webs of funding, policy and delivery mechanisms and accountabilities often overlain by intricate regulatory systems. In this paper from the Centre for Quality in Governance, authors propose a multi-level governance framework which helps differentiate the different system levels in further depth and defines their accountability, function/purpose and stakeholder involvement.
  22. Content Article
    This episode of the Health Service Journal's Health Check podcast features NHS Providers’ new chief executive Sir Julian Hartley, who cautions against creating provider trusts which are extremely large. Sir Julian talks about his fears that leaders could lose touch with the front line. He also answers questions about the role of collaboratives, as well as the shift from competition to system working, the risks of reintroducing a payment by results-style tariff, the importance of the promised long-term NHS workforce plan and the growing voices questioning the future of the NHS model.
  23. Content Article
    This report presents the findings and conclusions of an independent review into clinical governance arrangements within maternity services at The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. The independent review was set up following three maternal deaths in one year and two other serious untoward incidents (SUIs) in the Trusts's maternity unit.
  24. Content Article
    The Independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was commissioned in 2017 to assess the quality of investigations relating to newborn, infant and maternal harm at the Trust. When it commenced this review was of 23 families’ cases, but it has subsequently grown to cover cases of maternity care relating to 1,486 families, the majority of which were patients at the Trust between the years 2000 and 2019. Some families had multiple clinical incidents therefore a total of 1,592 clinical incidents involving mothers and babies have been reviewed with the earliest case from 1973 and the latest from 2020.
  25. Content Article
    Plans to establish integrated care systems (ICSs) as statutory bodies in the health and care bill foreshadow further changes to the organisation of the NHS. Unlike previous reorganisations, the changes expected to occur in 2022 have developed from within the NHS rather than being imposed by the government. Not only this, but leaders in the NHS have also played a major part in shaping the nature of these changes in partnership with the centre.  This paper from the NHS Confederation focuses on the changes needed to create the conditions in which ICSs can improve outcomes for patients and the public and outlines a series of simple rules to guide those leading the reform programme. The ideas put forward are intended to provide a basis for debate with healthcare leaders and others in England about next steps. The paper starts from the premise that a key role of leaders is to harness the intrinsic motivation of health and care staff and public health teams to perform to the best of their abilities. The distinctive contribution of ICSs is to work with partners in making use of all available assets and leading improvements in patient care and outcomes that require actions across the organisations and services that make up the health and care system. Staff must be fully engaged in this work as it is through their actions that patients and the public will experience improvements
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