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  1. Content Article
    NHS services are under extreme pressure. Recent testimonies from healthcare professionals, patients and journalists have highlighted the scale of these problems, which go significantly beyond the usual increase in pressure over the winter period. One key area of concern is a lack of hospital bed capacity, which as noted by the Nuffield Trust, is an important indicator of wider pressure on the system: "Hospitals cannot operate at 100% occupancy, as spare bed capacity is needed to accommodate variations in demand and ensure that patients can flow through the system. Demand for hospital beds peaks at different times of the day, week and year. There must be enough beds to accommodate these peaks. A lack of available beds can have widespread consequences in a health system.”[1] An absence of spare bed capacity can significantly impact a hospitals ability to provide safe and timely care. This also has consequences for other parts of the system, such as increased ambulance waiting times because of handover delays. There are multiple causes of these capacity issues: Longer-term structural challenges – such as the number of hospital beds relative to the population and workforce shortages.[2] Medium-term issues – for example the impact of delayed discharges. Short-term problems – such as increases in admissions of patients with seasonal illnesses. In this blog we will consider two specific issues stemming from this lack of hospital bed capacity and consider their impact on patient safety: Increasing cases of patients being cared for in hospital corridors and non-clinical areas, commonly referred to as ‘corridor care’. Current proposals to reduce the number of patients waiting to be discharged. Increasing cases of ‘corridor care’ ‘Corridor care’ can be broadly defined as care being provided to patients in corridors, non-clinical areas or unsuitable clinical areas because of a lack of hospital bed capacity. In recent years this has become an increasing occurrence as pressures and demands on the NHS mount, particularly during the winter months. In February 2020, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) highlighted its concerns about this becoming normalised, publishing a survey of its members that found that over 90% of respondents said that ‘corridor nursing’ was being used at their Trust.[3] [4] In March 2020, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) also raised this issue as part of a broader campaign around improving emergency care, highlighting the need to significantly increase the number of hospital beds in the NHS.[5] However, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, infection control and social distancing rules restricted the use of ‘corridor care’ in hospitals.[6] When providing guidance for emergency care after the initial Covid period, the RCEM reiterated the threats to patient and staff safety from crowding in emergency departments and emphasised the need to avoid a return to corridor care becoming the norm.[7] However, in recent months we have seen growing concerns about a significant increase in care being provided in corridors and non-clinical settings.[8] [9] [10] [11] [12] Patient safety risks Corridor care raises significant patient safety concerns. It can present problems providing appropriate care, as these unsuitable spaces can make it difficult to administer specific treatments, such as intravenous medication, or the ability to access oxygen, medication and lifesaving treatment in an emergency. It also makes it more difficult to monitor patients, which can result in delays in providing further treatment if their condition begins to deteriorate. The constraints on space that working in these conditions impose may mean that relatives are not able to be accommodated, reducing their ability to support patients whose condition may not otherwise be closely monitored. This lack of space can also result in physical hazards, with the potential for escape routes becoming blocked in emergencies.[13] Corridor care also has particularly negative impact on patient dignity and confidentiality: “Our overflow corridor never has fewer than 20 patients on it; people who are too unwell to sit in the waiting room. The corridor is made up of trolleys of patients lined up, top to toe, along a wall. It’s busy, it’s noisy and there’s no dignity there. Patients stuck there are being toileted behind staff holding up sheets on the corridor.”[14] Working in these conditions has a significant impact on healthcare professionals too, who know that they are not able to provide the best care possible to their patients. This can affect their mental health and wellbeing creating the risk of moral injuries: the distress experienced when circumstances clash with one’s moral or ethical code.[15] “Tonight I’ve come close to tears whilst apologising to patients for the standards of care we are able to provide. In my 22 years of being an A&E doctor I’ve never seen things so bad. It’s the same everywhere.”[16] Preventing avoidable harm Patient Safety Learning believes that corridor care should be avoided whenever possible. It is vital that this is not normalised. However, in the current circumstances, in some cases this is clearly unavoidable. In these situations, it is important that: Risk assessments are carried out for service redesign and for individual patients, with mitigating actions being taken to maintain the safest care possible. Trusts have clear guidance and apply learning from examples of good practice that prioritise patient safety. Trusts have plans in place to ensure the introduction of corridor care is only a temporary measure. Staff and patients report any incidents of unsafe care so that action can be taken swiftly to address harm or near misses. There is close oversight by Trust leadership, including the Board, to ensure that patient safety safeguards are in place if corridor care is needed and that this is minimised and not normalised. We also believe more research is needed to fully understand the consequences of corridor care in terms of patient outcomes as well as patient safety. There needs to be more research undertaken to evaluate the impact of this. Reducing the number of patients waiting to be discharged Having considered the patient safety impact of corridor care because of lack of hospital capacity, we now turn to current proposals aimed at increasing capacity by reducing the number of patients waiting to be discharged. Hospital discharges can be complex. To enable a safe and timely transfer of care, they require good co-ordination between hospital and community staff to arrange clinical assessments and to ensure the home or community setting has the appropriate equipment and care plans. A delayed discharges refers to a patient who no longer meets the clinical criteria to reside in hospitals and, therefore, should be discharged to non-acute settings. The Department of Health and Social Care has recently stated that there are around 13,000 patients meeting this description.[17] These patients may end up spending a significant amount of time waiting to be discharged for a range of different reasons: Lack of available places in care and nursing homes. Delays putting in place specialist support, such as home care or short-term rehabilitation, required following discharge. The need to ensure specific criteria for a safe discharge are met for patients who need to access ongoing mental health services and support. The need to ensure that complex needs are met prior to discharge, for example in some cases concerning patients with a learning disability, where these processes may involve a range of different professionals and specialist assessments. Reducing the number of delayed discharges is not a new policy idea, but in recent weeks it has received increased attention as this has been identified as a key measure to increase hospital bed capacity resulting in several new proposals aimed at achieving this. Patient safety risks Any measures aimed at increasing the speed of hospital discharges must have at their heart considerations of how this will impact on the safety of patients and the need to prevent avoidable harm. Below we consider some of the proposals that have recently been made in relation to this and their potential impact on patient safety. 1. Discharging patients without care packages The Welsh Government has recently issued new guidance to Health Boards to discharge patients who are well enough to leave even if they do not have a package of care in place.[18] A package of care is intended to meet a patient’s ongoing care needs, which may relate to healthcare, personal care or care home costs, following discharge. Without this in place, there is a significantly increased risk of avoidable harm, particularly for patients returning to their own homes. Not having in place required adaptations, equipment or access to rehabilitation could result in patients struggling to support themselves, increasing the risk of avoidable harm and re-admission to hospital. Commenting on this proposal, Dr Amanda Young, Director of Nursing Programmes at the Queen’s Nursing Institute, also highlighted concerns that: “… patients being discharged from hospital without appropriate care packages, or inadequate support or reablement, results in poorer outcomes in the short and longer term. Discharges may occur late in the evening with no advance warning to community services, in order to free up hospital beds. Vulnerable people may arrive to cold homes, alone, with community services unaware this has happened until the following day or even the day after.”[19] This also opens up the potential for inconsistent decision-making, transferring significant risk to individual healthcare professionals who may be under significant organisational pressures to make discharge decisions that they don’t believe are safe. 2. Funding additional care home beds The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £200 million in funding to buy thousands of extra beds in care homes and other settings to help discharge more patients who are fit to leave hospital and free up hospital beds.[17] The Scottish Government has also announced a similar package, stating it will provide £8 million in funding for additional care home beds.[20] While these announcements have been welcomed in some places, there are concerns about the ability of the social care system to fulfil this, with a key problem being staff shortages. In England alone it is estimated that there are 165,000 vacant posts in social care.[21] Serious concerns have been raised about how appropriate care can be provided where additional beds may be available but staff are not.[22] [23] In many cases this could lead to this additional bed capacity not being utilised, due to lack of staffing, or is utilised despite under-staffing, increasing the potential risk of avoidable harm. Considering this new funding in the context of these workforce shortages, Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “… there has been little consultation with the social care sector on how this can be achieved. Yet again, the Government has talked to the NHS and pretty much nobody else, and this is why their policies never work.”[24] There is also a question about whether patients subject to these accelerated discharge processes will receive the appropriate support they need. Integrated Care Boards will be tasked with using this new national funding for hospital discharges to purchase bedded step down capacity plus associated clinical support for patients.[25] However, concerns have been raised about the potential for rushed placements stemming from this, without appropriate access to rehabilitation and enhanced healthcare, which may increase the risk of patient harm.26] The British Geriatrics Society has noted that this could disproportionately impact older patients: “When older people leave hospital in poor health, they need rehabilitation and support to recover. Without it, their health deteriorates further – already on average 15% of older people being discharged from hospital are readmitted within 28 days. With each admission their level of frailty and care needs increase, generating even more demand for health and social care at home or in a care home.”[27] There have also been practical concerns raised questioning whether this funding can be effectively distributed, and extra beds provided quickly enough, to reduce the current pressures. There are further concerns too around how this is being targeted, with the provision of funding being “decided on a ’weighted population basis‘, rather than adjusted to reflect the current share of delayed discharge patients”.[28] [29] Preventing avoidable harm Patient Safety Learning believes that decisions on the introduction of new measures aimed at accelerating hospital discharges and freeing up hospital bed capacity must have patient safety considerations at their core. Whether they involve discharging patients at an earlier stage without care packages, or increased funding to move patients into care homes, all elements of these changes must be considered through a lens maintaining the safety of patients. This includes ensuring: Patients return home, or move to a care setting, with the correct medications and medical devices. Appropriate handover of information for patients is provided when moving from hospital directly into care settings. Appropriate equipment/adaptations being in place for patients returning home. Patients and their responsible carers have access to timely clinical advice if there is deterioration in the patient’s health, and guidance on the signs and symptoms that may indicate this. Patients and their families are decision makers in their own care and have access to information and advice to enable this. Concluding comments The shortage of hospital bed capacity has a wide range of consequences across the healthcare system with implications for patient safety. Here we have focused on the need to ensure that in two specific areas – managing the increase in cases of corridor care and reducing the numbers of patients waiting to be discharged – patient safety is being placed at the heart of decision-making processes around both. In addition to the areas we have identified, ensuring this happens also requires patient safety leadership at a national level. While far from a desirable state of affairs, corridor care is taking place in parts of the NHS and will continue to do so for the foreseeable period, meaning its impact on patient safety must be understood and mitigated where possible. We believe there needs to be recognition of this from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, along with a proactive effort to share and disseminate knowledge and good practice in this area to prevent avoidable harm to patients. We also believe it is important that there is both a recognition and inclusion of patient perspectives and experience of these issues. This particularly applies to hospital discharge processes, which too often are either discussed as purely a capacity problem or worse disparagingly an issue caused by ‘bed-blockers’.[30] [31] It is vital that we hear and listen to the patients and family members voices on changes aimed at accelerating discharge processes. We need to recognise that these situations involve individuals with specific ongoing healthcare needs who, as well as the safe provision of care, deserve dignity and respect. Share your views and experiences We would welcome your views on the patient safety concerns raised in this blog: Are you a healthcare professional who has experience of delivering corridor care and would like to share your story? Are you a patient or family member who has experience of corridor care or a delayed discharge process? Do you work in social care and have experience of, or concerns about, accelerated discharge processes from hospitals? You can share your views and experiences with us directly by emailing content@pslhub.org or by commenting below (register here for free to activate your membership). References Nuffield Trust, Hospital bed occupancy: We analyse how NHS hospital bed occupancy has changed over time, 29 June 2022. Nuffield Trust, Hospitals at capacity: Understanding delays in patient discharge, 3 October 2022. RCN, ‘Corridor care’ in hospitals becoming the new norm warns RCN, 26 February 2020. RCN, Corridor Care: Survey Results, 26 February 2020. RCEM, RCEM launches new campaign to end corridor care as data shows more than 100,000 patients waiting over 12 hours in A&Es this winter, 3 March 2020. Health and Social Care Select Committee, Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond, 1 October 2020. RCEM, Covid19: Resetting Emergency Department Care, Last Accessed 11 January 2023. Birmingham Live, ‘Worst I’ve ever seen it’: Doctor speaks out about horrors of patients in corridors as NHS crisis deepens, 3 January 2023. Health Service Journal, Trust that banned corridor care ‘reluctantly’ brings it back, 4 January 2023. iNews, Striking paramedics tell of patients having seizures in hospital corridors and relentless 16-hour shifts, 11 January 2023. BBC News, NHS A&E crisis: Staff making ‘difficult decisions in unprecedented times’, 7 January 2023. This is Local London, BHRUT boss apologises to patients ‘care for in corridors’, 11 January 2023. Health Service Journal, NHSE issues fire risk warning over ‘corridor care’, 29 November 2022. The Guardian, It’s beyond dreadful. We’re now running A&E out in the corridor and wating room, 12 January 2023. Health Education England and NHS England, Understanding moral injury a short film, 15 January 2021. The Guardian, ‘It feels terminal’: NHS staff in despair over working at breaking point, 4 January 2023. Department of Health and Social Care, Up to £250 million to speed up hospital discharge, 9 January 2023. Wales Online, Doctors claim hospital discharge guidance could see patients die, 6 January 2022. Nursing in Practice, Welsh hospital patients to be discharged to community with care package in place, 6 January 2023. Scottish Government, Additional Winter support for NHS, 10 January 2023. Skills for Care, The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, October 2022. The Times, Fears over plans to move patients into care homes, 10 January 2023. The Independent, Staffing ‘crisis’ means £200m extra care beds plan won’t work, health bosses warn, 10 January 2023. Community Care, Care home discharge plan risks inappropriate placements and neglects the causes of crisis – sector, 9 January 2023. NHS England, Hospital discharge fund guidance, 13 January 2023. The Health Foundation, Hospital discharge funding: why the frosty reception to new money?, 13 January 2023. British Geriatrics Society, Protecting the rights of older people to health and social care, 10 January 2023. Health Service Journal, New discharge fund risks being ‘political theatre’, warn NHS leaders, 9 January 2023. Health Service Journal, Revealed: How much is each ICS getting from the £200m discharge fund, 13 January 2023. Daily Mail, Hospitals are discharging bed-blockers into hotels to free up space on wards, 5 January 2023. iNews, NHS discharges patients into hotels to ease bed blocking and A&E crisis, 4 January 2023.
  2. News Article
    Six wards in a busy London Hospital, added at a cost of £24 billion during the pandemic, are lying empty because the builders did not install sprinklers. With the NHS in crisis, the Royal London Hospital in east London, has had to mothball the space, which is large enough to take 155 intensive care beds, while officials work out what to do with it. They have no patients in it since last May. Source: The Sunday Times, 29 January 2023 Shared by Shaun Lintern on Twitter
  3. News Article
    Hospitals are ‘horrible’ and unsafe places, which should be avoided ‘unless you really need to be there’, a longstanding trust chief executive has argued. East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust boss Nick Hulme also said the NHS had to be honest about the state of its acute services. Speaking at a public meeting of the East Suffolk and North Essex Integrated Care Board, he described hospitals as “awful” and “horrible”, and said NHS leaders had “got to get that message out” to the public. He added: “The food’s rubbish, we don’t let you sleep, we don’t let you know what’s going on” and that although he had stayed in some “fairly dodgy” hotels, none had forced him to share a bathroom with six people. The trust CEO told the meeting he wanted to emphasise to the public that “the worst place you can possibly be in the health system is a hospital, unless you need to be there”, according to a report in the East Anglian Daily Times. He added that hospitals were “not safe places”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 26 January 2023
  4. News Article
    Devon care homes say they are being asked to accept patients with Covid-19, flu and other infectious diseases to ease the pressure on local hospitals. One owner said it felt like the start of the pandemic again, as the safety of care homes was being "compromised". Devon has some of the longest waits for emergency care in the country, according to NHS figures. Simon Spiller, owner of The Croft Residential Care Home in Newton Abbot, said since the start of winter the home was being asked to shortcut its assessment process to help ease the blockages in Devon's hospitals. He said other local care homes have told him they were facing the same pressure. Mr Spiller said: "We're being encouraged, or really asked, to shortcut our assessment process. Normally, one of our team would go to the hospital to assess people, to really understand their care needs, to ensure they're an appropriate fit for our care home, which specialises in dementia. "Increasingly, because of the speed they're trying to achieve a discharge, we're being asked to accept people at kind of face value, as presented by the NHS." Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 January 2023
  5. Content Article
    NatSSIPs2 consists of two inter-related sets of standards: The organisational standards are clear expectations of what Trusts and external bodies should do to support teams to deliver safe invasive care. The sequential standards are the procedural steps that should be taken where appropriate by individuals and teams, for every patient undergoing an invasive procedure. The NatSSIPs2 have evolved to have less emphasis on tick boxes or rare ‘Never Events’ and now include cautions, priorities and a clear concept of proportionate checks based on risk. We recognise that ‘teams’ change or may be newly formed on the day of a procedure, and therefore require clear processes. NatSSIPs2 should form the basis of improvement work, inspections and curricula. Key principles in NatSSIPs2 include: The concept that NatSSIPs2 will help achieve of the triple goals of improved patient safety, better team-working and enhanced efficiency. The categorisation of invasive procedures into major or minor procedures, each requiring different checks which are proportionate to the risk of harm. The benefit of ‘Standardisation, Harmonisation, and Education’ across invasive specialty processes. The need to consider human factors with systems thinking, culture, psychological safety and team-work to underpin NatSSIPs2 implementation. An update of the WHO Five steps to safer surgery of Team Brief, Sign In, Time Out, Sign Out and Handover/Debrief to include three more steps to make the Sequential Standards (Steps): Consent and Procedural verification; Safe use of implants; and Reconciliation of items (to prevent retained foreign objects). ‘The NatSSIPs Eight’ should be in place for every relevant patient. That checks performed by an engaged team enable communication and save misunderstandings, reduce risk, provide clarity and set expectations The central role of the patient as a participant in safety checks. The need for a learning safety system supported by insight, involvement and improvement. A structure of People, Processes and Performance within the organisational standards The requirement for adequately resourced organisational leadership and support for safety. The NatSSIPs2 have been written by practising clinicians, from across the four UK nations, across disciplines, professions and organisations, with patient and organisational input and published by the Centre for Perioperative Care. They incorporate safety science and learning from all UK nations’ patient safety strategies and major reports and investigations. Are you a healthcare professional interested in learning more about NatSIPPs? On the hub we host the National NatSIPPs Network, a voluntary group of healthcare professionals aiming to reduce the number of patient safety incidents related to invasive procedures. You can join by signing up to the hub today. When putting in your details, please tick ‘National NatSIPPs Network’ in the ‘Join a private group’ section’. If you are already a member of the hub, please email hello@patientsafetylearning.org.
  6. News Article
    Care providers are demanding double the usual fees to look after thousands of people who need to be discharged from hospitals to ease the crisis in the NHS. Care England, which represents the largest private care home providers, said on Sunday it wanted the government to pay them £1,500 a week per person, citing the need to pay care workers more and hire rehabilitation specialists so people languishing in hospital can eventually be sent home. The rate is about double what most local authorities currently pay for care home beds, an amount Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, described as “inadequate”. The demand comes as the health secretary, Steve Barclay promised “urgent action” with up to £250m in new funding for the NHS to buy care beds to clear wards of medically fit patients. The money will be used to buy beds in care homes, hospices and hotels where people are looked after by homecare providers, as well as pay for hospital upgrades. Stays will be no longer than four weeks until the end of March. The use of hotels as care homes began during the pandemic and has been controversial, with reports of problems with hygiene and supplies of specialist equipment. The charity Age UK last week criticised their renewed use as “not an appropriate place to provide high-quality care for older people in need of support to recuperate after a spell in hospital”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 January 2023
  7. Event
    This conference will bring together current and aspiring Ward Managers to understand current issues and the national context, and to develop your skills as an effective Ward Manager. The conference will open with reflections on the characteristics and qualities required for the role, and understanding your role within quality and specifically meeting the CQC Quality Ratings at Ward level. The conference will include a look at the challenges and issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic for Ward Managers. For further information and to book your place visit https://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/conferences-masterclasses/effective-ward-manager or email frida@hc-uk.org.uk. hub members receive a 20% discount code. Email info@pslhub.org for discount code. Follow the conference on Twitter @HCUK_Clare #wardmanager
  8. Event
    This conference focuses on improving nutrition and hydration on the wards. Through expert guidance and practical case studies and advice the conference aims to support and equip you to improve practice on your ward and reduce the risk of malnutrition in patients. For further information and to book your place visit https://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/conferences-masterclasses/improving-nutrition-hydration-ward or email kate@hc-uk.org.uk. hub members receive a 20% discount. Email info@pslhub.org for discount code. Follow the conference on Twitter @HCUK_Clare #NHSNutrition
  9. News Article
    All new hospitals built in England must have only single patient rooms, health infrastructure chiefs have confirmed, requiring an overhaul of many trusts’ current proposals. Leaders of the New Hospitals Programme said the NHS needed to be “brave”, with the move marking an end for multi-bed bay wards and representing a major change in hospital design. Previously, NHS trusts were expected to consider a minimum of 50% single rooms when refurbishing or building new facilities, but HSJ revealed in September that officials were considering a 100 per cent requirement. Natalie Forrest, senior responsible officer for NHP, said England was “behind the times” on single patient rooms. She said: “If we really want to look for evidence of why patients should have the ability to sleep in privacy and choose to socialise in social areas… we need not look very far. Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Europe, the US – where they wouldn’t dream of building a hospital that didn’t provide single bedroom occupancy.” Ms Forrest, who is also a nurse, acknowledged an “anxiety” among NHS staff that they can’t care for patients in single rooms as well, and stressed the need to combine them with “digital technology”. “I have said we need to be brave and take on new challenges, and this is one of those brave decisions the NHS needs to stand up and move forward with.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 13 December 2022
  10. Content Article
    Related reading Medication delays: A huge risk for inpatients with Parkinson’s Keeping patients with Parkinson’s safe in hospital: 4 key actions for staff
  11. Content Article
    My mother, 87 years, was admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack. At the time, she was on a strong dose of a GP-prescribed opioid (fentanyl) to manage her growing lung cancer. The Duty doctor in the hospital seemed panicked as she was so unwell and used a drug to totally reverse her morphine as they thought she had overdosed. This caused excruciating pain for most of the last 60 hours of her life. They hadn’t properly assessed the history of her prescription or asked me, her documented health advocate, about the drug or my mother’s end of life wishes. After a 2-year long traumatic journey for the family, the Inquest issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report, agreeing her prior medication should have been properly assessed. After another year and a convoluted journey through the health system, NHS England’s Patient safety team issued a National Safety Alert to all English hospitals around more careful use of pain relief reversing. Five years later, my good friend was on an unusual cocktail of GP-prescribed drugs for her very painful arthritis. She was admitted to hospital after a fall that dislocated her severely arthritic shoulder. For three days in hospital she went through different medical teams, but no one looked at her pain control needs or her unusual medication, and the only pain relief medication that had worked for her for years was removed totally from very early on in the admission. She suffered on those hard hospital beds, unable to move to a comfortable position due to her painful arthritis, lack of adequate pain control and her shoulder that remained painfully dislocated. She could not move on those beds without help. She was in agony for three days. Sadly she died of a pulmonary embolism in hospital in the midst of that traumatic experience. What both these people have in common is the neglect of their medically prescribed, carefully designed pain control to meet their unique needs, their understandable wishes and personal rights. As a result their essential pain control was totally removed while other necessary medical interventions occurred. These patient and service user’s rights were not respected. Huge suffering resulted. This I believe needs addressing and learning from. Pain control needs of patients with chronic conditions needs to be carefully assessed and addressed on all hospital admissions from the very start of admission. The current complaint and Inquest systems do not have as their agenda these types of safety learning. There are two routes whereby these incidents can be recorded, with one route that may lead to an investigation and system learning nationally. One is the NHS patient portal, which is just for reporting (no one will get back to you, but the information you share could be used to improve safety for future patients), and the other is the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) who do national investigations almost always on recently occurring events. I would add there are developments in patient safety learning, including patient safety partners rolling out across some health facilities, but this is relatively early on in a national process: https://www.england.nhs.uk/patient-safety/framework-for-involving-patients-in-patient-safety/ The new NICE guidance on Shared Decision Making also adds to the pressure to learn and change from cases like this. Perhaps special guidance is needed for those admitted for emergency care with complex palliative medication needs? I hope a Body will take this up soon. The patient, service user, family and carer voice must be heard and acted on to improve patient safety at these difficult times. If you or anyone you know has had an experience like this, particularly in the last few months, do let me know by emailing me or commenting on this post below, as the routes above could lead to long lasting learning. It is sorely needed.
  12. News Article
    One of the country’s most senior doctors has said he is “desperate” to keep his elderly parents out of hospital, which he said are like “lobster traps”. Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said hospitals are easy to get into but hard to get out of. His comments come after figures showed the number of patients in hospital beds in England who no longer need to be there has reached a new monthly high. An average of 13,613 beds per day were occupied by people ready to be discharged from hospital in October. That was up from 13,305 in September and the highest monthly figure since comparable data began in December 2021, according to analysis by the PA news agency. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Dr Boyle said: “Hospitals are like lobster traps – they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of. “If social care was able to do its job in the way we want it to, these poor people wouldn’t be stranded in hospital. “I have elderly parents and I’m desperate to keep them out of hospital. “For someone who is frail, hospital is often a bad place for them. They’re being harmed by being in hospital.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 November 2022
  13. News Article
    A Guardian analysis has found that as many as one in three hospital beds in parts of England are occupied by patients who are well enough to be discharged, with a chronic lack of social care meaning many do not have suitable places to go. Barry Long's 91-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s and was admitted to Worthing hospital on 30 May after a minor fall. She was a bit confused but otherwise unhurt, just a bit shaken. Whilst in hospital, she caught Covid and had to be isolated, which she found distressing, and became increasingly disoriented. She was declared medically fit to be discharged but no residential bed could be found for her. Then, in August, she was left unsupervised and fell over trying to get to the toilet and she fractured her hip, which required surgery. Her hip was just about healed when she caught her shin between the side bars and the frame of the bed, cutting her shin so badly that she is being reviewed by a plastic surgeon to see if it needs a skin graft. "Since the operation, my mum is pretty much bedbound and lives in a state of confusion and anxiety", says Barry. "Her physical health and mental wellbeing have deteriorated considerably in the almost five months she has spent in the care of the NHS. She spends all day practically trapped in bed, staring into space or with her eyes shut, just rocking to and fro. She has little mental stimulation." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 November 2022
  14. Content Article
    Key messages People have a right to expect: access to the care they need, when they need it and that appropriate reasonable adjustments are made to meet people’s individual needs. This starts from the first point of contact with a hospital. This is not just good practice – it is a legal requirement. staff to communicate with them in a way that meets their needs and involves them in decisions about their care that they are fully involved in their care and treatment. the care and treatment they receive meets all their needs, including making reasonable adjustments where necessary and taking into account any equality characteristics such as age, race and sexual orientation. that their experiences of care are not dependent on whether or not they have access to specialist teams and practitioners. However, the report highlights the following issues: People said they found it difficult to access care because reasonable adjustments weren't always made. Providers need to make sure they are making appropriate reasonable adjustments to meet people’s individual needs. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for communication. Providers need to make sure that staff have the tools and skills to enable them to communicate effectively to meet people’s individual needs. People are not being fully involved in their care and treatment. In many cases, this is because there is not enough listening, communication and involvement. Providers need to make sure that staff have enough time and skills to listen to people and their families so they understand and can meet people’s individual needs. Equality characteristics, such as age, race and sexual orientation, risked being overshadowed by a person’s learning disability or autism because staff lacked knowledge and understanding about inequalities. Providers need to ensure that staff have appropriate training and knowledge so they can meet all of a person’s individual needs. Specialist practitioners and teams cannot hold sole responsibility for improving people’s experiences of care. Providers must make sure that all staff have up-to-date training and the right skills to care for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
  15. News Article
    Further funding cuts to the NHS will unavoidably endanger patient safety, an NHS leader warned last week after the chancellor’s promise of spending cuts of “eye-watering difficulty”. Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said his members were issuing the “starkest warning” about “the huge and growing gulf between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and the funding and capacity it has available”. The warning came as figures showed that paramedics in England had been unavailable to attend almost one in six incidents in September due to being stuck outside hospitals with patients. Service leaders say wait times for A&E and other care are being exacerbated by an acute lack of nurses, with a record 46,828 nursing roles – more than one in 10 – unfilled across the NHS. "Patients are presenting more unwell," says a GP from South Wales, "Wait times in A&E have become unmanageable, so we’re seeing patients who have waited so long to be seen they’re bouncing back to us. Things we can’t deal with, like injuries and chest pain. We tell them they have to go back to A&E. "Abuse of surgery reception and admin staff began last year and it’s just scaled up from there. We’ve had staff members who have been verbally and physically threatened and we’re struggling to recruit and retain staff – people are hired and quit in a couple days. A lot of people are going off sick with stress." Five healthcare workers describe the pressures they are facing, including ambulance stacking, rising A&E wait times and difficulties discharging patients. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 November 2022
  16. Event
    until
    This participatory event, concerning research undertaken on patient safety, will consist of a 45 minute talk followed by a Q&A/interactive discussion about how hospital care can be improved and how the public can be empowered to be involved in their care. The talk will specifically draw upon Dr Elizabeth Sutton's recent research, which explored how patients understood patient safety, and how this affected the ways that they were involved in their care when hospitalised. The Head of Patient Safety at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust will be participating in the event and there will be a screening of an animated video based upon Dr Sutton's research on patient perceptions and experiences of involvement in their safety. What’s it about? We are all likely to receive hospital care at some point in our lives or have relatives who have experienced hospital care. This makes it vitally important that we are well informed about what patients experience when hospitalised and how best to improve that care. This event aims to highlight what patient safety means to patients, why it matters and to find ways of empowering the public to be involved in their hospital care. I want to find out whether these experiences resonate with you. How could patient safety be improved? What would you like to see happen? How can we best help patients to speak up about their care when hospitalised? As an attendee, you will hear about research on this topic and have the opportunity to ask questions and put across your point of view. This event will be led by Dr Elizabeth Sutton, Research Associate, University of Leicester. It will be of particular interest to anyone who has experience of hospital care or whose relative has received hospital care and patient groups. Book a place a the event
  17. Event
    until
    This participatory event, concerning research undertaken on patient safety, will consist of a 45 minute talk followed by a Q&A/interactive discussion about how hospital care can be improved and how the public can be empowered to be involved in their care. The talk will specifically draw upon Dr Elizabeth Sutton's recent research, which explored how patients understood patient safety, and how this affected the ways that they were involved in their care when hospitalised. The Head of Patient Safety at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust will be participating in the event and there will be a screening of an animated video based upon Dr Sutton's research on patient perceptions and experiences of involvement in their safety. What’s it about? We are all likely to receive hospital care at some point in our lives or have relatives who have experienced hospital care. This makes it vitally important that we are well informed about what patients experience when hospitalised and how best to improve that care. This event aims to highlight what patient safety means to patients, why it matters and to find ways of empowering the public to be involved in their hospital care. I want to find out whether these experiences resonate with you. How could patient safety be improved? What would you like to see happen? How can we best help patients to speak up about their care when hospitalised? As an attendee, you will hear about research on this topic and have the opportunity to ask questions and put across your point of view. This event will be led by Dr Elizabeth Sutton, Research Associate, University of Leicester. It will be of particular interest to anyone who has experience of hospital care or whose relative has received hospital care and patient groups. Book a place a the event
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