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Found 20 results
  1. Content Article
    Whilst the principle aim of the guide is to support Guardians’ training needs, reflective practice and self-development, it could also be useful for: Regional and National Networks who might like to use the resources to support a local conversation about aspects of good practice Induction and other training programmes, for which the guide provides easily accessible materials to use and download. Organisations keen to support their Guardians by understanding the nature and complexity of the role. Informing Guardian’s organisational appraisals and PDPs. The Guide offers a short perspective on each of twenty-one competencies alongside questions for reflection and links to supportive material which will be regularly refreshed.
  2. Content Article
    This link below, leads to an NHS web page that covers: the definition of consent how consent is given consent from children and young people when consent is not needed consent and life support how to complain if you think consent was not given.
  3. Content Article
    In this article, Dan looks back at the Donabedian Model, a framework for measuring healthcare quality, and suggests why this might be an over simplification and why we must also look at human factors when we think about patient safety. We are humans and we can, do and will make mistakes, so we have a personal responsibility to acknowledge and address this as a contributing factor for patient safety incidents and harm. How do we begin to address our individual responsibilities? How can each of us reduce the personal risks we pose for our patients? How do we begin to address the moral imperative to recognise and then overcome any professional complacency that may interfere with our performance? Dan believes by enhancing human performance within healthcare settings this will serve as the ultimate key to improving quality and safety. Recognition by clinicians of their own tendencies toward complacency and their own vulnerabilities toward making mistakes is to encompass a mandate for personal professional commitment and improvement. If patients are harmed on the frontlines in healthcare settings, then it is on the frontlines that many of the solutions can be found and safety improvements nurtured. First recognising, and then modulating, the human factors liabilities that exist on the frontlines and overcoming the challenges of professional complacency will be necessary steppingstones towards sustained improvements in providing patient safe care. Clinicians, managers and leaders need to work collaboratively to understand and overcome the challenges that human factors pose when addressing individual performance.
  4. News Article
    A residential care home failed to notify the health watchdog about the deaths of people they were providing a service to, its report has found. Kingdom House, in Norton Fitzwarren, run by Butterfields Home Services, was rated "requires improvement". The home cares for people with conditions such as autism. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the registered manager and provider lacked knowledge of regulations and how to meet them. Inspectors found the provider failed to notify the CQC about the deaths of people which occurred in the home, as required by Regulation 16 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The report also found people were at "increased risk" because the provider had not ensured staff had the qualifications, competence, skills and experience to provide people with safe care and treatment. Inspectors did, however, praise the "positive culture" at the home, that is "person-centred", and noted the provider was "passionate about their service and the people they cared for". Read full story Source: BBC News, 2 January 2020
  5. News Article
    A lot has been written about the workforce crisis in health and social care. 43,000 registered nurse vacancies, a 48% drop in district nurses in eight years and not enough GPs to meet demand. When we talk about workforce, the focus is always on numbers. There are campaigns for safe staffing ratios and government ministers like to tell us how many more nurses we have. But safety is not just about numbers. Recent workforce policy decisions have promoted a more-hands-for-less-money approach to staffing in healthcare. More lower-paid workers mean something in the equation has to give. In this case, it’s skill and expertise. In this article in The Independent, Patient Safety Learning's Trustee Alison Leary discusses how healthcare has failed to keep frontline expertise in clinical areas due to archaic attitudes to the value of the experienced workforce. Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 December 2019
  6. News Article
    Experts have warned hundreds of “hidden” children who rely on machines to help them breathe at home are at significant risk of harm due to staff shortages, poor equipment and a lack of training. The number of children who rely on long-term ventilation is rising but new research has shown the dangers they face with more than 220 safety incidents reported to the NHS between 2013 and 2017. In more than 40% of incidents the child came to harm, with two needing CPR after their hearts stopped. Other children had to have emergency treatment or were rushed back to hospital. Many parents reported concerns with the skills of staff looking after their children or reported paid carers falling asleep while caring for their child. Families reported having to cover multiple night shifts due to staff shortages, while also having to care for their child during the day. Other patient safety incidents including broken or faulty equipment or information on packaging that did not match the item or incorrect equipment being delivered. Consultant Emily Harrop, who led the study, said it was “easy for the plight of individual complex children to slip down the agenda”. She warned: “This is a very hidden group of very vulnerable children who are at risk without investment in staffing, access to training and good communication." Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 December 2019
  7. Content Article
    A few years back, I was a guest speaker at a healthcare quality improvement conference where I was approached by a doctor who said he had come to learn “what all this patient safety stuff is about". He had approached me after my presentation and, with more than a little arrogance in the tone of his voice, stated, “if only the nurses would do their jobs and follow my orders correctly, all of these errors would simply go away!” Hmmm…, a damaged and lost soul! My first reaction was to wonder what kind of slimy rock this chap had crawled out from under. However, rather than get annoyed, an emotion that rarely results in improved communication, I simply mentioned that the most current analysis of injuries resulting from patient safety incidents has revealed that the majority of serious injuries, malpractice claims and settlements result from errors or delays in diagnosis and that, the last time I checked, clinical diagnosis is primarily the purview of doctors not nurses. I figured he might want to continue the conversation, but he simply turned and walked away. The truth hurts and I was left wondering how many patients he had harmed, knowingly or unknowingly, during his career. Blaming others can be an easy out from self-examination. As I thought about this interaction later that evening, putting his insulting arrogance aside, it occurred to me that his complacency about his role as a contributor to the patient safety conundrum, and the challenges of assuring diagnostic accuracy specifically, is probably much more common than many would like to admit. Fortunately, his degree of professional arrogance is generally not the rule among compassionate professionals. Still, there is something to learn from his arrogance and from what he said. Complacency, subtle, unrecognised and perhaps pernicious, can become a malignant force. We are all prone to this. We all know that caring for patients, especially for vulnerable patients, is fraught with hazards. We work in highly complex environments, interacting with innumerable patients and professionals every day, each of whom brings strengths and liabilities into the equation we call healthcare. We all acknowledge that there are deficiencies in the structures and processes of healthcare systems and these numerous deficiencies can contribute to patient harm. Anyone who has spent time working in healthcare settings can point to examples of poor leadership, unsafe and unjust cultures, demand-based management and flawed or inadequate healthcare processes that may adversely affect the provision of care and can degrade professional morale. We have all been there. Well-documented deficiencies in the structures and processes of healthcare certainly encumber those working to actually provide care. Frontline staff working under pressure can and will make mistakes; even in institutions where robust efforts have been made to support staff and specifically improve the working environment on the frontlines, mistakes will still occur. Human beings make mistakes, and even though our processes can be standardised to reduce variability and enhance ease of performance, mistakes still will occur, especially in the domain of diagnostic accuracy where standardisation is not so robust and cognitive insufficiencies and biases abound. Caring for patients is complicated stuff! Healthcare professionals do not get up in the morning intending to harm anyone, but normal human liabilities can impair our performance. Often we do not even recognise our own liabilities or are unaware of the environmental factors that can enhance them. Workplace complexities and associated stressors such as fatigue, hunger, patient volume and acuity complexity can all contribute to distractions in an already task-saturated environment. If we also factor in outside family, social and economic pressures of various kinds, which we rarely leave at home entirely, the stage is often set for mistakes to occur, sometimes very serious mistakes. The aviation industry is an example of a highly reliable industry where safety is paramount and is often held up as a standard of performance to strive for in healthcare. But an A&E unit is a much more complex and relatively uncontrolled environment than the flight deck of an Airbus 320. In my view, the aviation metaphor commonly falls short when compared to healthcare. As a physician who has also worked in the aviation community for part of my career, I feel that although important lessons can be learned and shared from the aviation industry, the aviation environment is not a mirror image of the healthcare environment. Anyone out there ever made a mistake when caring for a patient? I have made many, I suspect, most unknown to me and of little or no consequence to my patients. I did make a more serious mistake once and my patient, a 9-month-old child, was dangerously but not permanently harmed. When oncologists make mistakes, the consequences can be catastrophic as chemotherapy agents are dangerous. The truth is, I was complacent and didn’t see the potential for harm coming right at me; my fault – or at least that was how I viewed things. I became a ‘second’ victim as a result of this incident and it still resonates with me, all these years later. Hospitals with strong committed leadership are attempting to address the challenges that those on the frontlines must face every day, especially in settings such as A&E units, but one cannot simply design out all of the confounders. There are some excellent examples of robust, patient and staff-focused leadership, safe and just cultures and collaborative management, and these should be emulated nationwide. This all brings me back to the arrogant doctor who wanted to blame the nurses for “all this patient safety stuff”, and his inherent failure to recognise his own singular, important role in the patient safety conundrum. I suspect that this is a natural tendency, as healthcare professionals do not ordinarily see themselves as sources of harm, a concept that is counterintuitive to who we think we are and the excellence in care we strive to provide. The fact is that we may all suffer from some degree of professional complacency. We may often fail to recognise environmental and situational risks, and, more importantly, to admit to our own personal liabilities, and, thus, the risks we bring into the healthcare environment. Though we all recognise how complex the provision of healthcare can be, we may not fully appreciate that we are also part of that complexity. Our inability to recognise the often subtle but inherent risks we bring to our patients in all healthcare settings is surely an independent variable in the calculus of providing patient safe care. So, I propose the following for all healthcare professionals – each day, before we enter our hospital or surgery, care home or whatever, please pause and repeat the following mantra: “I am a kind and caring professional about to enter a complex healthcare environment where patients may be harmed every day. I admit to myself that although I always intend to serve my patients as best I can, I also inherently represent a source of risk for them and I may make mistakes that can result in harm. Though I may wish to deflect responsibility onto insufficiencies in structures, processes, leadership, culture, managers and even other colleagues, the fact is that I am also a unique risk to my patients. I will be very careful, every day, in every way, with every patient under my care, all the time; and I will strive to be even better tomorrow.” Read Dan's full length article: Structures, processes and outcomes for better or worse: Personal responsibility in patient safe care
  8. Content Article
    I started my career in a care of the elderly ward (geriatrics), which was exciting as my first job, and I felt that my time management needed to be worked on prior to me starting my career in what I knew at the time to be emergency nursing. I stayed in this area for a year, taking charge of the shift and also managing a bay of eight patients, which was the norm (or so I thought). After about 1 year, I thought about moving on, continuing to learn, and I started working in an intensive care unit (ICU). During my time in ICU, I made a drug error involving a controlled drug. Without going into too much detail, there was a lot of factors involved in this case and I was told I was going down the disciplinary route. This was a real low point for me and I felt like I really needed support, not only to come to terms with the error itself, but also support from a reflective side – what I can do, so this doesn’t happen again. I was a new band 5 nurse in the department with no previous ITU experience, with a new Band 6 and Band 7 leading the team which we were working with solidly. They chose not to suspend me, but keep me working without being able to complete medications. I continued to work as per rota, never taking a day off sick, etc. This continued for about 3 months unable to complete my job role to its full potential, and continuing the days and nights and the weekend shifts, along with personal issues of my own to contend with also. I thought at the time it was normal to feel like this post an error, but in hindsight, the support I received was not adequate. In fact, I would go as far as to say I didn’t get any support, other than the normal "are you okay" at the start of each shift. By the time the disciplinary happened, I was 'rock bottom', which is banded around a lot, but I didn’t see a way out, without my family and partner saying that I needed to get out, I don’t know what I would have done. Nevertheless, I left for new horizons, and changed my speciality. I went to A&E where I knew I wanted to be, with a great team, with great management and culture. However, one day I let them down. I completed a second drug error. This was involving an insulin/dextrose infusion for hyperkalaemia, which I mixed up for hyperglycaemia. This error rattled me again. I felt like I was going down that 'rabbit hole' yet again, becoming more and more anxious and needing extra support, more than ever. Fortunately, the patient was okay and was identified quickly. The error was serious and after talking to my manager, they suspended me from clinical duties whilst the investigation was occurring. This was absolutely devastating to me. I felt like I was just settled in my job, feeling more positive about my career that I love so much. Whilst the investigation was going on, I continued my non-clinical work, completing various tasks that would normally take an age to complete. This is where I fell in love with the non-clinical side of the department and continue to work in this area today. However, in contrast to the first incident, I was asked whether I was okay, but also followed up with regular 1:1 welfare meetings, and felt like my manager was actively supporting me. I also started a piece of work on preventing this incident happening again. I have now gone up the ladder in the same organisation, and continue to feel settled. However, this really put the importance of supporting people as one of the main priorities in my daily practice. It also put into context the real need for establishing and integrating a no blame culture and getting rid of the culture of fear. It is very easy to forget the mental health aspect. Patient safety is aimed at patients (quite rightly so), but I think somewhere in the mix, we forget about that individual who takes this home day in, day out. I understand that there is accountability and there is taking responsibility for your actions as per the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct. But I think we forget about humanity and the need for support and coming together when one of your team is 'down'. I can honestly say, without my team and my managers, I wouldn’t be the nurse I am today, and I am forever grateful. And those people who have done errors or know what this is like, maybe you’re going through this today; there is light at the end of the tunnel. I share my story with the upmost respect and apologies to the patients involved and also to my team!
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