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Found 14 results
  1. Content Article
    Yesterday, Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust is now looking into alternative defibrillators after receiving two warnings from Coroners Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) reports due to problems with their existing machines.[1] PFD reports are issued when, in the coroner’s opinion, the case they are reviewing requires action to be taken in order to prevent future deaths.[2] Delays in defibrillation The reports in question relate to the deaths of Najeeb Katende in 2016 and Mitica Marin in 2019.[3] In both cases, an issue had occurred when using the LP15 defibrillator, which had been started in ‘manual’ rather than ‘automatic’ mode. This resulted in the paramedic not initially realising the patient had a shockable heart rhythm and led to a delay before the first shock was administered. If the defibrillator had initially been in ‘automatic’ mode it would have detected a rhythm and prompted the paramedic to shock the patient. In the coroner’s report into the death of Mitica Marin, it was noted that LAS had carried out a review of cases of delayed defibrillation with the LP15 and recognised that this specific machine “defaults to manual mode requiring the user to switch to automatic mode before use”.[4] Garrett Emmerson, LAS Chief Executive, noted that they were now taking a series of actions to address this, “including putting warning stickers on the defibrillators and staff refresher training on how to use the machines”.[1] Preventing future deaths While this case focuses a specific safety in use issue concerning the LP15 defibrillator, it also serves to highlight the broader issue we have previously raised at Patient Safety Learning; failure to harness learning from PFD reports. We believe that by learning from PFD reports, patient safety can be improved and the reports can achieve their aim of preventing future deaths.[5] One of our concerns in this regard is that learnings from PFD reports may be applicable beyond the organisation, however at present there appears to be no clear system of sharing learning more widely. We are pleased that LAS has identified this safety issue, however it is vital that this information is now widely shared so others can also take action to manage the risks to patients. If the concerns identified in PFD reports remain in silos, there is a danger that this could reoccur in a different trust. At Patient Safety Learning, we believe there are a number of actions which could be taken to help address the current gaps in the system. Please refer to our previous blog on Learning from PFD reports to see these actions in detail. References 1. HSJ, Patient deaths prompt ambulance chiefs to look for alternative defibrillators, 10 August 2020. 2. The Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/1629. 3. Edwin Buckett, Prevention of Future Deaths Report – Najeeb Katende, 21 April 2017. 4. Graeme Irvin, Prevention of Future Deaths Report – Mitica Marin, 12 March 2020. 5. Patient Safety Learning, Learning from Prevention of Future Deaths reports, 25 February 2020.
  2. News Article
    Ambulance chiefs are looking at alternative defibrillators after coroners highlighted confusion over how to correctly use their existing machines. London Ambulance Service (LAS) Trust has received two warnings from coroners since 2016 after the delayed use of Lifepak 15 defibrillators “significantly reduced” the chances of survival for patients, including a 15-year-old boy. Coroners found some paramedics were unaware the machines had to be switched from the default “manual” mode to an “automatic” setting. The first warning came after the death of teenager Najeeb Katende in October 2016. A report by coroner Edwin Buckett said the paramedic who arrived had started the defibrillator in manual mode and did not detect a heart rhythm that was appropriate for administering the device, so it was not used until an advanced paramedic arrived on scene 24 minutes later. The report stated the defibrillator had been started in manual mode but it needed to be switched to automatic to detect a shockable heart rhythm. The coroner warned LAS that further deaths could occur if action was not taken to prevent similar confusion. But another warning was issued to the LAS in March this year, following the death of 35-year-old Mitica Marin. Again, a coroner found the paramedic, who was on her first solo shift, had started the machine in manual mode and had not detected a shockable rhythm. It was suggested this caused a four minute delay in the shock being administered. Coroner Graeme Irvine said this was “not an isolated incident” for LAS and noted the trust had reviewed other cases of delayed defibrillation. They found that the defibrillator’s manual default setting was a “contributing factor” to the delays. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 August 2020
  3. News Article
    Five NHS trusts in the South West have been ordered to make immediate improvements after the death of a 20-year-old prisoner who needed healthcare. Lewis Francis was arrested in Wells, Somerset, in 2017 after stabbing his mother while “acutely psychotic” and taken into custody. Although his condition mandated a transfer to a medium secure mental health hospital, there was “no mechanism” in place to move Mr Francis and he was taken to prison, where he died by suicide two days later, according to a coroner. Contributory factors to his death included “insufficient collaboration, communication and ownership between and within organisations… together with insufficient knowledge of… the Mental Health Act,” according to Nicholas Rheinberg, the assistant coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon. In a Prevention of Future Deaths report, Mr Rheinberg said a memorandum of understanding was in place for the transfer of “mentally ill prisoners direct from police custody” in the West Midlands, and he called on the South West Provider Collaborative to agree a similar deal with “relevant organisations and agencies”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 14 July 2020
  4. Content Article
    This regulation 28 is around testing of patient call bells in care homes. Questions: Have you got a system for checking call bells where you work? Are the call bells always in reach of the patient?
  5. News Article
    An 87-year-old woman died after her carers gave her the wrong medication, a coroner was told. Heather Planner, from Butler's Cross in Buckinghamshire, died at Wycombe Hospital on 1 April from a stroke. Senior coroner Crispin Butler heard three staff from Carewatch Mid Bucks had failed to spot tablets handed over by the pharmacy were for a male patient. Mr Butler said action should be taken to prevent similar deaths. A hearing in Beaconsfield on Thursday, where he issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report, followed an inquest in November. In the report he said he was told at the inquest that the carers from Carewatch Mid Bucks gave widow Mrs Planner the wrong medication four times a day for two and a half days. She suffered a fatal stroke because she did not receive her proper apixaban anticoagulation medication. Mr Butler said he would send his concerns to the chief coroner and the Care Quality Commission. He said there was no procedure in place to ensure individual carers read and specifically acknowledged any medication changes. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 February 2020
  6. Content Article
    What are PFD reports? There is a statutory duty for coroners to issue a PFD report to any person or organisation where, in the coroner’s opinion, action should be taken to prevent future deaths. These reports are made publicly available on the Coroners Tribunals and Judiciary website with the organisations involved having a duty to respond within 56 days. When serious incidents occur in healthcare that result in the death of a patient, PFD reports play a key role in identifying what went wrong and the actions needed to prevent this reoccurring. These crucial insights may often be applicable beyond the organisation in which this took place and provide a point of wider system learning. Implementing actions and sharing learning While these reports provide a wealth of information, the key challenge is ensuring that we utilise these to their full extent to improve patient safety and care. At Patient Safety Learning while we recognise the important role these reports have to play, we have some concerns about how they are currently acted on. Implementing actions When actions are requested by the coroner, it is not clear under the current system whether there is a structured process, either at a national or individual organisation level, for monitoring the actions implemented in response to the PFD report. There is also an open question about who is held accountable if the actions requested are not fully implemented, or if the response taken is ineffective. It is difficult to assess how healthcare providers go about this as there appears to be no specific system of monitoring this at a national level. Sharing learning As noted earlier, often the learnings from PFD reports may be applicable beyond the organisation involved. However, at present there appears to be no clear system of sharing these outcomes more widely. Although these reports are published online, they are not in an easily searchable or shareable format and it is difficult to draw out common themes, actions and responses. Furthermore, it is not clear whether NHS England and NHS Improvement undertake any central trend analysis or review to draw out common themes that may be applicable to all organisations, in the same way that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch does when it publishes its investigation reports. What do we want to see? We have recently written to the Chief Coroner, Judge Mark Lucraft QC, to raise these issues. We have also drawn this to the attention of Dr Alan Fletcher, the National Medical Examiner. As the new National Medical Examiner system is currently being rolled out across England and Wales, their role in ‘ensuring proper scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths’ will be complementary to the current PFD system. We feel it is important that coroners and medical examiners take a consistent approach to reporting and sharing learnings as widely as possible. When we receive responses, we will take this up directly with NHS England and NHS Improvement, and other national bodies with responsibility for patient safety, along with our ideas of actions that we feel could help to address the current gaps in the system: Implementing actions 1) Analyse reports – Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs)/Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to carry out annual thematic reviews of all PFD reports, Serious Incident (SI) reports and associated safety action plans. These plans can inform future commissioning, safety action plans and Care Quality Commission oversight. 2) National oversight – put in place a clear system of national oversight. Shared learning 3) Increase transparency – make all PFD reports, SI reports and their associated safety action plans available in the public domain. 4) Improve accessibility – create a central repository for all PFD reports, SI reports and associated safety action plans in one database searchable by actions and themes. 5) Standards – put in place patient safety standards for each STP and ICS, with requirements on individual trusts, primary care networks and service providers to share learning from these reports. 6) Publish an annual report – on PFD reports and SI reports including themes for learning and action.
  7. Content Article
    The presentation covered: Family liaison within the NHS. The role of family liaison. Supporting and working with families and/or carers-what do they want and/or need? What type of cases can family liaison handle and where they can’t support a family/carer. A case study.
  8. Content Article
    The report by INQUEST sets out the following recommendations to improve safety and prevent future deaths: 1. Halt prison building, commit to an immediate reduction in the prison population and divert people away from the criminal justice system. 2. Prison staff, including healthcare staff, require improved training to meet minimum human rights standards to ensure the health, well-being and safety of prisoners. 3. Ensure access to justice for bereaved families through the provision of automatic non-means tested legal aid funding for specialist legal representation to cover preparation and representation at the inquest and other legal processes. Funding should be equivalent to that of the state bodies/public authorities and corporate bodies represented. 4. Establish a ‘National Oversight Mechanism’ – a new and independent body tasked with the duty to collate, analyse and monitor learning and implementation arising out of post death investigations, inquiries and inquests. This body must be accountable to parliament to ensure the advantage of parliamentary oversight and debate. It should provide a role for bereaved families and community groups to voice concerns and provide a mandate for its work. 5. Ensure accountability for institutional failings that lead to deaths in prison. For example, full consideration should be given to prosecutions under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, where ongoing failures are identified and the prison service and health providers have been forewarned. The reintroduction of The Public Authority (Accountability) Bill would also establish a statutory duty of candour on state authorities and officers and private entities.
  9. Community Post
    Hi All, I was looking through a recent coroners case ( https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Julie-Taylor-2019-0454.pdf ) Where a learning disability patient deteriorated while in an acute care setting. One of the recommendations was that the Trust should have used a 'reasonable adjustment care plan'. I haven't heard or seen one of these before. So I had a quick look on the internet and found this. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/media/cipold_presentations/workshop3presentation1-linda-swann.pdf Does anyone else use a care plan that they wouldn't mind sharing? Thanks - Claire
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