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Found 89 results
  1. News Article
    A protective device against coronavirus for at-risk doctors is to be provided free to the NHS. The SNAP device for ear, nose and throat surgeons was created after Burton-upon-Trent consultant Amged El-Hawrani died with COVID-19 in March. He was one of the UK's first senior medics to die with the virus, his death showing that they were at serious risk. The device clips over patients' masks to prevent the virus spreading through coughs and sneezes. It was developed by surgeons Ajith George and Chris Coulson, with the help of Aston University, who said nasendoscopy procedures - where a small flexible tube fitted with a camera is inserted into the nose - often made patients cough, splutter and sneeze. It works by clipping on to either side of a normal surgical face mask, creating a hole for an endoscope to be inserted while keeping the patient's nose and mouth completely covered. When it is removed, a one-way valve closes the hole so no virus can escape. "We were concerned about the safety of doctors but also about the risk of missed diagnoses and opportunities for treatment of patients," Mr Coulson, an ENT surgeon working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, said. "Our aim has been to produce an easy-to-use, cheap device that would allow clinicians to return to routine practice." Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 September 2020
  2. Event
    Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and BMJ International Forum: Copenhagen 2020 virtual event showcasing the latest innovations in quality improvement, hosting discussions on the key issues facing health and care systems, and empowering the healthcare community to move forward stronger and more connected than ever before. The event will explore how we can unite those across our health and care systems to reflect, recover, and reassess priorities in light of the changes brought by COVID-19. It will deliver: 35+ live lectures and interactive workshops 10+ hours of on-demand content, plus 30+ videos covering key improvement projects from across the globe Virtual poster displays and presentations Networking, huddles, and more! View programme Book now
  3. News Article
    Around 250,000 clear face masks are set to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to allow for better care to be provided to those who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate, whilst still ensuring staff and patients remain safe during coronavirus. The clear face masks will allow for improved communication with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, autism and dementia. Designed with an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth are always visible, the see-through masks will help doctors, nurses and carers get important messages across to all patients clearly. An estimated 12 million people in the UK are thought to have hearing loss, while those who rely on facial expressions to support communication – such as people with learning disabilities, autism or dementia, or foreign language speakers and their interpreters – will also see benefit from the government deal. Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “Everyone using our remarkable health and care system deserves the best care possible and communication is a vital part of that." “This pandemic has posed numerous challenges to the sector, so we are always on the hunt for simple solutions to support those giving and receiving care." Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 7 September 2020
  4. News Article
    Current scientific techniques are not yet safe or effective enough to be used to create gene-edited babies, an international committee says. The technology could one day prevent parents from passing on heritable diseases to children, but the committee says much more research is needed. The world's first gene-edited babies were born in China in November 2018. The scientist responsible was jailed, amid a fierce global backlash. The committee was set up in response. Gene-editing could potentially help avoid a range of heritable diseases by deleting or changing troublesome coding in embryos. But experts worry that modifying the genome of an embryo could cause unintended harm, not only to the individual but also future generations that inherit these same changes. It made several recommendations, including: Extensive conversations in society before a country decides whether to permit this type of gene-editing. If proven to be safe and effective, initial uses should be limited to serious, life-shortening diseases which result from the mutation of one or both copies of a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis. Rigorous checks at every stage of the process to make sure there are no unintended consequences, including biopsies and regular screening of embryos. Pregnancies and any resulting children to be followed up closely. An international scientific advisory panel should be established to constantly assess evidence on safety and effectiveness, allowing people to report concerns about any research that deviates from guidelines. Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 September 2020
  5. Event
    COVID-19 has transformed the delivery of health care services, bringing about unprecedented change in very little time. Changes that were thought to require years of careful planning happened in many cases overnight, with technology proving to be a key factor in supporting patients and staff in the delivery of care. In this four-day event, the King's Fund are bringing together top experts from the NHS and other parts of the digital health system to discuss the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. From the benefits of emergency data gathering in order to work on new treatments, to the transfer of primary care services online, COVID-19 has been the catalyst bringing about the long-discussed digital revolution. With almost every part of the system shaken by Covid-19, was all digital change positive and what are the challenges still left to tackle? Join to hear the views of NHS and industry leaders who played a central role in bringing about the new digital reality for health care. It will explore how they managed to adapt to the pressing needs of the pandemic, which cutting-edge innovative solutions they wish to retain as the system returns to ‘normal’ and what problems this speedy digital transformation has created. View programme and register
  6. Content Article
    In the late eighties, I attended a presentation on the future of the UK Medtech sector presented on behalf of the government by KPMG. The main message being the government’s desire for the industry to focus on research and development whilst transferring manufacturing to China! What relevance does this have to patient safety? Fast forward some twenty years and I am presenting the case for adoption of one of our most successful unique patented patient safety products (successful global use at this point around the 5 million patient level) to one of the largest NHS trusts. The difficulties faced by industry The trust we presented to operates a clear policy that industry should not even provide literature on products to any clinician unless procurement permission is given. We complied with this policy and were invited in to present after an anaesthetist had highlighted that the trust had experienced patient injury from the current standard practice of using rolls of tape to secure patients' eyes during anaesthesia to protect from hazards and prevent the eyes from drying out causing potentially serious harm. Our product literature carries an endorsement from the Association of Perioperative Practice who clearly state that the practice of using tape to address these issues is “not recommended and that Eyepads fit for purpose should be used”. The meeting is attended by a man from procurement and a Sister from the trust with many years of experience in her role. I present the product case and pass samples to the Sister. Within a minute of handling the product she dismisses the product as “expensive nonsense”! The man from procurement proclaims the session over and we part company. The anaesthetist that initiated the meeting was not present and was not allowed to take her desire to try our solution any further. This story is reflective of not only our experience but typical of the path we and other Medtech companies encounter in attempting to introduce new innovative patented solutions to the NHS UK companies. The drive towards ever cheaper manufacturing adoption by the NHS is led by NHS supply chain, dominating the tendering market for products with multiple manufacturing sources. The NHS is now globally recognised as a procurement-driven market, focussed on reducing costs through purchasing and negotiating lower pricing. An organisation that issues “zero inflation pricing increase” policies. This can be very effective and is certainly a major driving factor in the success of the multitude of Chinese manufacturing companies supplying the NHS. A market that has produced a multitude of failed schemes for the adoption of new technologies in favour of sourcing ever cheaper, often poor quality products. But we did not jump on that bandwagon and instead chose to continue working with the best patented technological solutions emerging. We recently had the pleasure of working with Helen Hughes and Patient Safety Learning on a webinar presenting one such product. We introduced this product over a year ago and immediately engaged with the latest NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative innovation adoption scheme. In the webinar I described how this and all of our other efforts had failed to make any serious impact other than producing great results with a small band of community health nurses. Then COVID-19 strikes and almost overnight procurement is bypassed. There is a priority in addressing shortages of products perceived as vital in maintaining care levels in the impending increased demand due to COVID-19. This leads to the successful sale of several hundred of our units. However, when the government moves to address the issue through large scale purchase of the product, our solution is dismissed and offered no part of the contracts awarded in a process that was uncannily like the experience described above. A culture of cost cutting and fear Management of the NHS is an enormous undertaking. However, I would suggest that many years of focus on cost cutting has delivered a culture of fear and apathy toward the adoption of the amazing new technologies that can transform care. The plethora of schemes for innovation adoption that we have engaged with over the years have failed, often at the outset, simply due to inadequate funding and planning. During this period industry has also had to bear the substantial increased costs of product and staff regulatory changes. When I engage with some of these schemes, I cannot understand why there are so many companies in the mix pitching products and services that have nothing to do with healthcare, but offer instead procurement or management “more efficient management” tools! Some trusts appear to be more concerned with this aspect than the actual delivery of healthcare. One trust insists that we supply our products through a third-party purchase company because the product they buy is not listed on NHS supply chain. They have now ceased to order after the third-party supplier entered administration, owing us several thousand pounds! In November we will launch a new patented product with patient safety benefits, invented by two operating department practitioners (OPDs) in Liverpool. We will manufacture the product in the UK and manage global marketing from the UK. However, we are currently focused on marketing the product overseas; engaging with NHS procurement is not a priority. I know other companies have that same view. It’s recognised that efficient procurement is an important element of NHS management, largely developed from the political direction in the Eighties on cheaper globalised manufacturing policies. Unfortunately, whilst to some degree it has been very successful in cutting costs, patient and staff safety has on occasion been compromised. There is now a culture of cost cutting with procurement completely focused on this. Call for action NHS adoption of new beneficial technologies is woefully inadequate and remains largely under the control of procurement services often disinterested in it and unqualified to manage it. For patient and staff safety to benefit, I would like to see: Simplified fast-tracked product assessment procedures managed by appropriately qualified staff. The removal of products and services designed for healthcare management from the assessment of products directly involved in improving healthcare outcomes. Our current structures are simply not fit for this purpose.
  7. Content Article
    The case studies illustrate the potential of digital technology to transform care, particularly through empowering patients, supporting stronger therapeutic relationships and effective teamworking across professional boundaries, and creating networks and communities to support patients. The paper also calls on health care providers to assess the impact on staff and patients of the rapid transition to online services driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Has the impact of the changes been fully assessed? And, in light of these case studies, is there scope to be more ambitious in redesigning services?
  8. Content Article
    This resource covers: leadership culture resources improvement approaches safety, clinical audit and clinical governance during major change digitalisation innovation trust improvement stories.
  9. News Article
    A sponge-on-a-string pill test could transform the way oesophageal cancer is diagnosed, researchers say. The method can identify 10 times more people with Barrett’s oesophagus than the usual GP route, scientists say. The test, which can be carried out by a nurse in the GP surgery, is also better at picking up abnormal cells and potentially early-stage cancer. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition that can lead to oesophageal cancer, cancer of the food pipe, in a small number of people. Normally it is diagnosed in hospital by endoscopy, which involves passing a camera down into the stomach, following a GP referral for long-standing heartburn symptoms. The cytosponge test, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, is a small pill with a thread attached that the patient swallows. It expands into a small sponge when it reaches the stomach, and is then quickly pulled back up the throat by a nurse, collecting cells from the oesophagus for analysis. The pill is a quick, simple and well tolerated test that can be performed in a GP surgery and helps tell doctors who needs an endoscopy. In turn, this could prevent many people from having potentially unnecessary endoscopies. Scientists say that as well as better detection, the test means cancer patients can benefit from kinder treatment options if their cancer is caught early enough. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 August 2020
  10. Event
    In this extended episode, our panel will describe the Care Information Exchange, a patient portal that facilitates the sharing of healthcare records across NW London. This system currently holds the records for over 1.6 million patients and allows patients, hospitals, GP practices and social care organisations to effectively share records for a population of 2.4 million. They will also describe how the frailty team in the Trust have used the portal with remote patient monitoring technology to redesign a care pathway for lung conditions, post-COVID. They will discuss the resulting improvements in patient care, especially in detecting deterioration during hospital stays and afterwards in the community, and the economic benefits that have accrued through the use of patient-generated data. A CPD certificate with 1 CPD credit will be issued to those joining the webinar live as well as those who watch the recording afterwards. Certificates will be issued 7 days after the webinar to those who watch it live and after 30 days for those that watch the recording. Book here Join in the conversation online using #RSMDigiHealthFollow us on Twitter: @RoySocMed
  11. News Article
    Research into patient safety across Europe, led by Northumbria University, has received international acclaim. The SLIPPS (Shared Learning from Practice to improve Patient Safety) project is a major EU-funded project led by Professor Alison Steven, a Reader in Health Professions Education at Northumbria University. It seeks to improve European patient safety and education across a range of clinical settings. Errors, mishaps and misunderstandings are common and around one in 10 patients suffer avoidable harm. These incidents impact upon patients, their families, health care organisations, staff and students. SLIPPS is responding to the challenge to improve patient safety education. Professor Steven has a longstanding interest in the use of education to raise standards of care and ensure patient safety. Considering the rapid spread of COVID-19, she says improving patient safety and standards of care across Europe and beyond, has never been more important. “Patient safety is paramount in these extreme circumstances,” said Professor Steven. “The SLIPPS project is unique in that it taps into students’ experiences. These students on practice placements have the potential to offer fresh perspectives on clinical practices, and with so many final-year students treating patients on the front line during this global pandemic, their current views on patient safety are more important than ever.” The project utilises real-life experiences and students’ reflections on them as the basis for a range of educational resources which feed into an open access virtual learning centre for international, multi-professional learning about patient safety. Read full story Source: Northumbria University Newcastle, 20 July 2020
  12. News Article
    RLDatix, the leading provider of intelligent patient safety solutions, have announced a new framework—Applied Safety Intelligence™—that will tighten the relationship between patient safety and risk management by moving the industry from a retrospective review of adverse events toward a future of proactive prevention. This profound shift will usher in a new era of future-forward patient safety. Traditionally, patient safety and risk management efforts have been driven by a retrospective capture of harmful events, often resulting in long wait times to reach resolutions for patients and families, hefty litigation and punitive damages to health systems, and a profound negative impact on the care teams involved. With Applied Safety Intelligence, healthcare organisations will be able to reduce preventable harm and, in many cases, avoid it altogether. "As the global leader in patient safety, RLDatix is unmatched in its ability to drive innovation that leads to safer care," said Jeff Surges, CEO of RLDatix. "With Applied Safety Intelligence, we are putting patient and caregiver safety at the center of value-based care as we continue challenging traditional conventions around inevitable harm, provider burnout and enterprise risk. Together with our customers, we are catalysing a future where the human and financial impact of unsafe care is significantly reduced. " Read full story Source: CISION PR Newswire, 15 July 2020
  13. Content Article
    “There's no such thing as the unknown—only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.” James T. Kirk, Captain, Starship Enterprise. Star Trek, Season 1: The Corbomite Maneuver. Leading a large enterprise isn’t easy. Vision, compassion, humility, curiosity and adaptability are required attributes for those in charge to keep moving forward during times of relative calm or uncertainty. The stress and tragedy that accompanies catastrophic events can reduce the resolve and effectiveness of even the most accomplished leaders. Unprecedented large-scale situations, such as the Hurricane Katrina landfall or the September 11th terrorist attacks, reveal gaps in understanding that may not have been apparent before the disaster. These blind spots can dismantle the reserve of a leader and their team to culminate in poor decisions, inaction and organisational dysfunction. The COVID-19 pandemic is such an event. Rules are being mindfully adjusted to respond to the litany of process, clinical, financial and political disruptions healthcare workers must grapple with as they face the uncertain conditions of their patients, communities and themselves. It is incumbent on leaders to create stability by addressing these unknowns. Leaders within hospitals, social care organisations and within the public health spectra need to make immediate process adjustments to optimise effort, realise opportunities for improvement and learn to be resilient. They need to arrive at understanding while simultaneously managing challenges that emerge from the strained system to keep their enterprise on track. They need to do this by paying attention to safety culture, transformation and innovation, and will need tools and resources to do so. Leadership must build a culture to keep patients and workers safe. Leader’s communications and actions are core to the implementation of safe working conditions to provide the best care possible during a crisis. Yet, a Gallup poll of US healthcare workers found a lack of understanding of their organisation’s COVID-19 plan and lack of belief that safety policies in place will support their safe return to work. To address this gap, experts recommend leaders three steps to a better safety culture: use formal and informal mechanisms to explicitly communicate what the organisation is doing to keep staff informed and safe during the pandemic enlist their managers to implement policies, create opportunities to align the work of management and hold managers accountable to implement and sustain current practice and procedure talk to their people. Keeping an open dialogue through the use of established mechanisms such as ‘rounding’ can solicit insights and raise concerns to enhance the safety of teams and patients. Leadership must see opportunities to transform systems: COVID-19 has presented leaders with immense responsibility to act, adjust quickly as required and use those process changes to improve the overall system of care post-pandemic in preparation for the next unprecedented challenge. Geisinger Health System leaders in their article, 'How one health system is transforming in response to Covid-19' share the experience of designing their emerging COVID response to reliably innovate rather than only react. Leaders examined core system business concerns such as pharmacy and information technology by bringing together multidisciplinary groups that dismantled silos. Teams worked together using scenario planning to fully consider how restoring care processes, entering new work phases, preparing for the second wave and restoring financial viability would affect patients and employees. Leadership must use evidence and collective knowledge to adapt: The Journal of Public Health and Management Practice shares recommendations for leaders to meet COVID-19 stressors successfully. The article suggests leaders communicate well, be decisive, lead without hierarchy, remain proactive and take care of themselves to protect others. For example, to lead across a system seek expertise from a variety of organisational and environmental elements. Working with government officials, staff and peers can form collaborations, solidify shared purpose and distribute responsibility to serve a community well in crisis. Public health is a core partner in understanding how to guide, motivate and inspire change to enhance a collective response to COVID-19 and upcoming health threats. Clinicians in patient-facing leadership roles also exhibit these behaviours as their roles shift to manage crisis. The perspective of a New York cardiologist leading a COVID-19 infections disease service illustrates how the transfer of tacit knowledge around deliberate leadership observed daily while coordinating the service shaped his views on leadership and his ability to lead. Being emotionally available was a core characteristic that helped to express grief, exhibit vulnerability and openly share concerns, giving the experience the humanness it needed. This was important not only in his ability to mature as a leader but to demonstrate the empathy needed to get his team through the challenges at hand. James T Kirk knew how to lead. He sought consensus, learned from mistakes, yet acted as necessary to keep his crew safe, engaged and aligned with the organisational mission. He sought partners across the federation as needed. Kirk could be firm, decisive, yet empathetic. Have health leaders done similarly to protect staff, patients and the community, while gaining experience during COVID-19 to apply over time to enrich the care system at large and boldly go to a better, safer future?
  14. News Article
    A new report by Research Australia details more than 200 ongoing COVID-19 studies that extend far beyond the search for a vaccine. Almost every COVID-19 research project being led by Australians has been in the new report, including studies of breastfeeding guidelines for parents with COVID-19, filter systems to remove the virus via air-conditioning systems, monitoring of sewage to detect the prevalence of COVID-19, and repurposing technology normally used to identify explosives to see if it can detect the presence of COVID-19. The report was compiled by Research Australia, the national peak body for health and medical research. It’s chief executive, Nadia Levin, said the report was not a complete catalogue of COVID-19 related research in Australia, but provided a useful insight into the scale of the response from the health and innovation sectors. “All of this Australian research kept popping up and we were blown away by the scale and scope of it, so we asked all of our members to share what they are working on,” Levin told the Guardian Australia. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 June 2020
  15. Content Article
    Here are just some of East Midlands AHSN programmes: ESCAPE – pain 374 people received life-changing rehabilitation helping them to live with osteoarthritis. Focus ADHD – East Midlands ADHD programme to improve ADHD diagnosis for children and young people selected for national adoption and spread. ChatHealth – Secure health messaging service reaches 100% coverage for young people in the East Midlands. Digital outpatient appointment follow up – Trust’s Oncology clinical specialty reduced unnecessary follow up appointments by 97% in one pathway using digital approach. Transfers of Care Around Medicines – Over 12,000 at-risk patients received additional support with their medications when leaving hospital. Patient safety work with care homes – Commitment by East Midlands care homes to their residents’ safety applauded by national health and care system leaders. Atrial Fibrillation – 220 strokes avoided and 73 lives saved across East Midlands.
  16. Content Article
    Achievements Reviewed more than 300 innovations and supported the adoption of 50 of them. Prevented 30 strokes per year through atrial fibrillation initiatives in primary care. Met 500 companies and established 30 industry partnerships. Leveraged £123m to improve health in our region and support economic growth. Key local projects Mental health: Relapse prevention following psychological therapy – includes launch of Paddle smartphone app providing ongoing support for patients. Heart failure: Improving treatment in primary care – working with Novartis to deliver better patient outcomes and reduce hospital admissions. Sleep improvement: Enhancing mental health and self-care at scale – real-world evaluation of the experiences of thousands of people who used the Sleepio online digital support programme. Maternity: Developing an e-learning package for fetal heart rate monitoring – helping midwifery colleagues deliver an award-winning tool developed in Reading/Oxford. Key national programmes Reducing stroke risk: Working with all clinical commissioning groups and primary care, sharing learning and spreading best practice to reduce strokes related to atrial fibrillation, diagnosing 3,000 more patient. Better outcomes following emergency surgery: Working with the five acute NHS trusts in the Oxford AHSN region which perform emergency laparotomy surgery, reducing mortality and length of stay for more than 800 patients. Preventing cerebral palsy: Promoting the adoption and spread of magnesium sulphate in pre-term labour through the ‘PReCePT’ initiative, sustaining uptake at over 85% and improving life-chances of more than 100 babies. Reducing medication errors: Working with all CCGs, pharmacists and GPs to train almost 200 practices in our region through the PINCER programme.