Stephen Moss, Patient Safety Learning Trustee, suggests four practical tips to help staff keep patients safe:
With your colleagues ask a random selection of patients if they have felt unsafe in the last 24 hours (you might want to select a different form of words). If the answer is yes, get under the skin of why they have felt unsafe, pool the knowledge and agree what action you are going to take, or what might need escalating to your line manager.
Have a discussion with your colleagues about how you can support each other to uphold your values and professionalism when the going gets tough. Be clear about what help you might need from outside of the team, and follow it up.
When looking at your Ward Assurance results, satisfy yourself that where it is possible, they are outcome orientated rather than just focusing on compliance with a process. Look for ways of 'humanising' the data i.e. use a language that identifies the impact on patients and, importantly, use language throughout that will be understood by patients and the public. Too many times I see Ward Assurance results on ward corridors, for the attention of patients and families, written in 'NHS speak' !
When measuring your compliance with the Duty of Candour, don't just look at the numbers! Find a way that also establishes how families feel about the 'quality' of the response, i.e. was it open, honest and transparent and did it give what they needed.
How do you think these tips could benefit your patients or service users? Have you tried anything similar that you've found has really helped? Let us know your thoughts and please feedback if you try any of them.