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Found 26 results
  1. Community Post
    Morning all, As a Critical Care Outreach nurse of many years, one of my greatest bugbears is SBAR handover, or there lack of! Within my trust, there is an SBAR proforma attached to the NEWS2 chart, which appears to be fit for purpose currently. (We are still on paper obs charts, moving to e-obs by the end of the year) SBAR is taught and embedding in all our teaching and training, the candidates at the time of the courses are all able to giver perfect SBAR handovers in simulation but as soon as they walk out the door all of that seems to disappear. It is all too often we receive poor handovers for referrals, the lack of information and clarity means that we cannot prioritise patients effectively. I am currently looking at the nuts and bolts of why this is and what we need to do to address the issues. I have started by sending a survey out to all registered nursing staff so that we can get feedback from those who should be using it. Hopefully, from the responses this may mean we can formulate a plan to improve this. Does anyone else have the same issues/ concerns in you line of work? Has anyone got anything that they do in their trust that works?
  2. Content Article
    This short video shows how Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has transformed the way that handover is received. By using a simple checklist along with a process, the critically unwell patient can be handed over quickly and safely. Further reading attached: Standard Operating Procedure for ICU/HDU Handover South East Coast Critical Care Network Critical Care Intrahospital Transfer form
  3. Content Article
    So, what does it feel like working in chronically depleted staffing levels? "We are down three nurses today" – this is what I usually hear when I turn up for a shift. It has become the norm. We work below our template, usually daily, so much so that when we are fully staffed, we are expected to work on other wards that are ‘three nurses down’. Not an uncommon occurrence to hear at handover on a busy 50-bedded medical ward. No one seems to bat an eyelid; you may see people sink into their seat, roll their eyes or sigh, but this is work as usual. ‘Three nurses down’ has been the norm for months here, staff here have adapted to taking up the slack. Instead of taking a bay of six patients, the side rooms are added on making the ratio 1:9 or sometimes 1:10, especially at night. This splitting up the workload has become common practice on many wards. "That was a good shift" – no one died when they were not supposed to, I gave the medications, I documented care that we gave, I filled out all the paperwork that I am supposed to, I completed the safety checklists. Sounds a good shift? Thinking of Erik Hollnagel’s ‘work as done, work as imagined’ (Wears, Hollnagel & Braithwaite, 2015) – this shift on paper looks as if it was a ‘good shift’ but in fact: Medications were given late; some were not given at all as the pharmacy order went out late because we had a patient that fell. Care that was given was documented – most of the personal care is undertaken by the healthcare assistants (HCA) now and verbally handed over during the day – bowel movements, mobility, hygiene, mouth care, nutrition and hydration. As a nurse, I should be involved in these important aspects of my patients’ care, but I am on the phone sorting out Bed 3’s discharge home, calling the bank office to cover sickness, attending to a complaint by a relative. It’s being attended to by the HCA – so it's sorted? I have documented, probably over documented which has made me late home. I’m fearful of being reprimanded for the fall my patient had earlier on. This will be investigated and they will find out using my documentation what happened. The safety checklists have been completed for all my patients; comfort rounds, mouth care, falls proforma, bed rails assessment, nutritional score, cannular care plan, catheter care plan, delirium score, swallow test, capacity test, pre op assessments, pre op checklists, safe ward round checklist, NEWS charting, fluid balance charting and stool charting… the list is endless. Management have made things easier with the checklist ‘if it’s not written down it didn’t happen’ so now we can ‘tick’ against the check list rather than writing copious notes. However, I cut corners to enable me to complete all my tasks, some ticks are just ‘ticks’ when no work has been completed. No one would know this shift would they? What looks as if it has been a ‘good shift’ for the nurse, has often been the opposite for the patients and their family. There is a large body of research showing that low nurse staffing levels are associated with a range of adverse outcomes, notably mortality (Griffiths et al, 2018; Recio-Saucedo et al, 2018). What is the safest level of staff to care for patients? Safe staffing levels have been a long-standing mission of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)/Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in recent years. In the UK at present, nurse staffing levels are set locally by individual health providers. The Department of Health and professional organisations such as the RCN have recommended staffing levels for some care settings but there is currently no compliance regime or compulsion for providers to follow these when planning services (Royal College of Nursing 2019). I was surprised to find that there are no current guidelines on safe staffing within our healthcare system. It left me wondering… is patient safety a priority within our healthcare system? It seems not. While the debate and fight continues for safe staffing levels, healthcare staff continue to nurse patients without knowing what is and isn’t safe. Not only are the patients at risk and the quality of care given, but the registration of that nurse is also at risk. What impact does low staffing have on patients and families? ‘What matters to them’ does not get addressed. I shall never forget the time a relative asked me to get a fresh sheet for their elderly mother as there was a small spillage of soup on it. I said yes, but soon forgot. In the throes of medication and ward rounds, being called to the phone for various reasons, answering call buzzers, writing my documentation, making sure Doris doesn't climb out of bed again, escorting patients to and from the CT scanner, transferring patients to other wards – I forgot. My elderly patients’ daughter was annoyed, I remember she kept asking and I kept saying "in a minute", this made matters worse. She got annoyed, so that I ended up avoiding her altogether. How long does it take to give her the sheet? Five minutes tops, so why not get the sheet? MY priority was the tasks for the whole ward, tasks that are measured and audited on how well the ward performs by the Trust; filling out the observations correctly, adhering to the escalation policy, completing the 20 page safety booklet, completing the admission paperwork, ensuring everyone had their medication on time, making sure no one fell – changing a sheet with a small spot of soup on it was not on my priority list. It was a priority for my patients’ family. My patient was elderly, frail and probably wouldn’t get out of hospital alive this time. Her daughter was the only family she had left. It’s no wonder families feel that they are not listened to, are invisible, are getting in the way and not valued. These feelings do not encourage a healthy relationship between patients/families and healthcare workers. Studies have shown that involving patients and families in care is vital to ensure patient safety. Patients and their relatives have the greatest knowledge of patients and can often pick up subtle signs physiological deterioration before this is identified by staff or monitoring systems (O’dell et al, 2011). If our relationship is strained, how can we, as nurses, advocate for the safety of our patients? So, what impact does low staffing have on the staff member? "Fully staffed today!" The mood lifts at handover. People are sat up, smiling, quiet excitable chatter is heard. This uplifting sentence is quickly followed by either: "Let’s keep this quiet" or "someone will be moved" or "someone will have to move to XX ward as they are down three nurses". Morale is higher when wards are fully staffed. The mood is different. There are people to help with patient care, staff can take their breaks at reasonable times, staff may be able to get home on time and there is emotional support given by staff to other staff – a camaraderie. The feeling does not last long. Another department is ‘three nurses down’. Someone must move to cover the shortfall. No one wants to go When you get moved, you often get given the ‘heavy’ or ‘confused’ patients. Not only that, you are working with a different team with different dynamics – you are an outsider. This makes speaking up difficult, asking for help difficult, everything is difficult: the ward layout, where equipment is stored, where to find documentation, drugs are laid out differently in the cupboard, the clinical room layout is not the same. The risk of you getting something wrong has increased; this is a human factors nightmare, the perfect storm. I am in fear of losing my PIN (NMC registration) at times. At some point I am going to make a mistake. I can’t do the job I have been trained to do safely. The processes that have been designed to keep me and my patients safe are not robust. If anything, it is to protect the safety and reputation of the Trust, that’s what it feels like. Being fully staffed is a rarity. Being moved to a different department happens, on some wards more than others. Staff dread coming to work for threat of being moved into a different specialty. Just because you trained to work on a respiratory, doesn’t mean you can now work on a gynae ward. We are not robots you can move from one place to another. I can see that moving staff is the best option to ensure efficiency; but at what cost? Another problem in being chronically short staffed is that it becomes the norm. We have been ‘coping’ with three nurses down for so long, that ‘management’ look at our template. Is the template correct, we could save money here? If we had written guidance on safe staffing levels, we still have the problem of recruitment and retention of staff; there are not enough of us to go around. Thoughts please... Does this resonate with you? Has anyone felt that they feel ‘unsafe’ giving care? What power do we have as a group to address this issue of safe staffing levels? References 1. Wears RL, Hollnagel E, Braithwaite J, eds. The Resilience of Everyday Clinical Work. 2015. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. 2. Griffiths P et al. The association between nurse staffing and omissions in nursing care: a systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2018: 74 (7): 1474-1487. 3. Recio-Saucedo A et al. What impact does nursing care left undone have on patient outcomes? Review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing 2018; 27(11-12): 2248-2259. 4. O’dell M et al. Call 4 Concern: patient and relative activated critical care outreach. British Journal of Nursing 2001; 19 (22): 1390-1395.
  4. Content Article
    Working with clinicians and patients, the PRSB have published this standard along with implementation guidance for digital referrals from GPs to hospitals. Once implemented, it will ensure that clinicians have the right information they need to provide the best care for patients. The standard was produced in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit and input from the Royal College of General Practitioners. By using the standard professionals will have access to all relevant information in a timely manner results in safer and more consistent care for people using health and care services. The information will include data about medication, previous history, allergies and current symptoms, as well as a patient’s concerns and expectations. This standard has now been updated to version 1.1. Detailed release notes are available outlining the changes. These can be found in the supporting documents link above. The standard has been updated in-line with new PRSB digital medications information assurance. The PRSB has worked in partnership with the Health Informatics Unit at the Royal College of Physicians to produce these standards.
  5. Content Article
    The PRSB have collaborated with the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit on this project. Clinical leadership was provided by clinicians from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the College of Paramedics (CoP). The standard has been developed with the support of professionals and patients. This resource includes: The standard Information model Information model (as Excel spreadsheet) Documentation Ambulance handover standard final report v1.0 Implementation guidance v1.0 Clinical Safety Case Report v0.3 - Currently being approved through the NHS Digital Clinical Safety Group Hazard log v0.7
  6. Content Article
    The project aim was to establish a monthly multi-disciplinary analysis of all the Paediatric cases transferred from the Paediatric Emergency Department and the Paediatric ward at the Royal Free, to identify areas of clinical learning and patient safety improvement.
  7. Content Article
    The transport of the ICU patient is a complicated process and can lead to patient harm. In the Department of Critical Care Medicine, Calgary Health Region, staff underestimated the risks of intrahospital transport, which led to the two adverse events mentioned above. This article published in Healthcare Quarterly has describes the development of an ICU patient transport decision scorecard to support the safe transport of ICU patients for diagnostic testing. The scorecard is a visual assessment tool. Each item on it is a decision point and a simple reminder to ensure that appropriate resources are available prior to transport. Outcome measures have been added to begin to measure the effectiveness of the tool. Several lessons were learned from the development of this tool: the need to form a subgroup with team members from all sites and disciplines to ensure early buy-in; the involvement of a human factors expert to make the tool easier to use; and the need to continuously retest the tool using PDSA cycles.
  8. Content Article
    The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital introduced NNUH at Home in January 2019 as part of a pilot project. NNUH is working in partnership with HomeLink Healthcare to deliver this service, which will benefit patients by supporting them to leave hospital as soon as they are clinically stable. Some clinically selected patients are able to go home to recover for the last few days of their acute episode of care. These patients remain under the care of the hospital and will be supported at home with bespoke care services such as therapy, nursing care, personal care and IV antibiotics. Patients are able to complete the remainder of their care in the comfort of their own homes, with the full support of their medical consultant and the NNUH and HomeLink teams. The NNUH at Home team comprises of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and Healthcare Support Workers. Patients transferred to the NNUH at Home service will remain under the care of their hospital consultant until they are formally discharged by the hospital to their GP at the end of their agreed length of stay. NNUH at Home will complements existing NHS community services.
  9. Content Article
    Watch this short video to find out how SBAR has helped patient safety and handover of patient information.
  10. Content Article
    Key learning points The difference between handovers and huddles. Benefits of effective clinical handovers and the role of huddles in promoting safety. Top tips for implementing huddles. Standardising handovers and huddles.
  11. Content Article
    What will I learn? How to link your improvements to the wider strategic aims of your organisation. How to test, measure and understand the impact your changes are having. How to use the sort of structured communication tools that are delivering significant improvements in safety and quality for care organisations and other safety critical industries across the world (e.g. SBAR, ISOBAR and IDEAL).
  12. Content Article
    The video outlines the importance of effective ambulance handovers and makes recommendations for how NHS providers can improve their processes.
  13. Content Article
    The Safety Huddle’s main aim was to improve and document all clinical handovers within individual teams across the locality. This case study explains how they initiated the huddle. It also includes downloads for; a template for handover the safety huddle template the standard operating procedure for the huddle.
  14. Content Article
    This guide is designed to help an acute trust pharmacist follow up a small cohort of patients who were discharged to receive a course of IV therapy in the community. Aim: To prospectively assess the quality of discharge information/prescriptions for patients referred for community IV therapy To identify problems with supplies of medicines To identify any problems with the process for clinical review of patients, post-discharge To provide assurance of the quality of care for these patients and make recommendations for improvements, where appropriate.
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