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Found 194 results
  1. Event
    until
    This virtual conference from The King's Fund will share practical ideas about transforming work and workplace cultures. It will explore how leadership and teamworking influences people’s work experiences, releasing their full potential to drive improved outcomes for patients and citizens. Discuss with other local health and care leaders how to create compassionate cultures with improved support for staff to make sure that the NHS and social care organisations are good employers and great places to work. Register
  2. News Article
    Following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has been placed into special measures. It comes after inspectors uncovered a culture of bullying and sexual harassment at the trust. As a result of the decision, EEAST will receive enhanced support to improve its services. A statement from NHS England and NHS Improvement outlined that the Trust would be supported with the appointment of an improvement director, the facilitation of a tailored ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ support package, the arrangement of an external ‘buddying’ with fellow ambulance services and Board development sessions. This follows a CQC recommendation to place the trust in special measures due to challenges around patient and staff safety concerns, workforce processes, complaints and learning, private ambulance service (PAS) oversight and monitoring, and the need for improvement in the trust’s overarching culture to tackle inappropriate behaviours and encourage people to speak up. Ann Radmore, East of England Regional Director said, “While the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been working through its many challenges, there are long-standing concerns around culture, leadership and governance, and it is important that the trust supports its staff to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve." “We know that the trust welcomes this decision and shares our commitment to reshape its culture and address quality concerns for the benefit of staff, patients and the wider community.” Read full story Source: Bedford Independent, 19 October 2020
  3. News Article
    A baby died during birth because of systemic errors in one of Britain's largest NHS hospitals, months after staff had warned hospital chiefs that the maternity unit was “unsafe”, an inquest has found. A coroner ruled that neglect by staff at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust contributed to the death of baby Wynter Andrews last year. She was delivered by caesarean section on 15 September after significant delays. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and leg, resulting in her being starved of oxygen. In a verdict on Wednesday, assistant coroner Laurinda Bower said Wynter would have survived if action had been taken sooner, criticising the units “unsafe culture” and warning that her death was not an isolated incident. Wynter’s mother, Sarah Andrews, called on the health secretary, Matt Hancock, to investigate the trust’s maternity unit. She said: “We know Wynter isn’t an isolated incident; there have been other baby deaths arising because of the trust’s systemic failings. She was a victim of the trust’s unsafe culture and practices.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 7 October 2020
  4. Community Post
    It's #SpeakUpMonth in the #NHS so why isn't the National Guardian Office using the word whistleblowing? After all it was the Francis Review into whistleblowing that led to the recommendation for Speak Up Guardians. I believe that if we don't talk about it openly and use the word 'WHISTLEBLOWING' we will be unable to learn and change. Whistleblowing isn’t a problem to be solved or managed, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. So many genuine healthcare whistleblowers seem to be excluded from contributing to the debate, and yes not all those who claim to be whistleblowers are genuine. The more we move away for labelling and stereotyping, and look at what's happening from all angles, the more we will learn. Regardless of our position, role or perceived status, we all need to address this much more openly and explicitly, in a spirit of truth and with a genuine desire to learn and change.
  5. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to target poorly performing NHS maternity units after a series of maternity scandals. It is drawing up plans to spot high-risk maternity units and will use data on their patient outcomes and culture to draw up a list of facilities for targeted inspection. The watchdog has voiced concerns over the wider safety of maternity units in the NHS after a number of high-profile maternity scandals in the past year. Almost two-fifths of maternity units, 38%, are rated as “requires improvement” by the CQC for their safety. The Independent has joined with charity Baby Lifeline to call on the government to reinstate a national maternity safety training fund for doctors and midwives. The fund was found to be successful but axed after just one year. On Tuesday, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, told MPs on the Commons Health and Social Care Committee that he was concerned about the safety of mothers and babies in some maternity units which had persistent problems. “Those problems are of dysfunction, poor leadership, of poor culture, of parts of the services not working well together,” he said. “This is not just a few units; this is a significant cultural issue across maternity services.” Now the CQC has confirmed it is planning to draw up a list of poor-performing units or hospitals where it suspects there could be safety issues. The new inspection programme will specifically look at issues around outcomes and teamworking culture although the full methodology has yet to be decided. Read full story Source: The Independent, 4 October 2020
  6. News Article
    As she lay dying in a Joliette, Que., hospital bed, an Atikamekw woman clicked her phone on and broadcast a Facebook Live video appearing to show her being insulted and sworn at by hospital staff. Joyce Echaquan's death on Monday prompted an immediate outcry from her home community of Manawan, about 250 kilometres north of Montreal, and has spurred unusually quick and decisive action on the part of the provincial government. The mother of seven's death will be the subject of a coroner's inquiry and an administrative probe, the Quebec government said today. A nurse who was involved in her treatment has been dismissed. But that dismissal doesn't ease the pain of Echaquan's husband, Carol Dubé, whose voice trembled with emotion as he told Radio-Canada his wife went to the hospital with a stomach ache on Saturday and "two days later, she died." Echaquan's relatives told Radio-Canada she had a history of heart problems and felt she was being given too much morphine. In the video viewed by CBC News, the 37-year-old is heard screaming in distress and repeatedly calling for help. Eventually, her video picks up the voices of staff members. One hospital staff member tells her, "You're stupid as hell." Another is heard saying Echaquan made bad life choices and asking her what her children would say if they saw her in that state. Dubé said it's clear hospital staff were degrading his wife and he doesn't understand how something like this could happen in 2020. Read full story Source: CBC News, 29 September 2020
  7. News Article
    An ambulance service could be put in special measures after a damning report criticised poor leadership for fostering bullying and not acting decisively on allegations of predatory sexual behaviour towards patients. East of England Ambulance Service Trust failed to protect patients and staff from sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour and harassment, the Care Quality Commission said. It failed to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff, with high levels of bullying and harassment. Staff who raised concerns were not treated with respect and some senior leaders adopted a “combative and defensive approach” which stopped staff speaking out. “The leadership, governance and culture still did not support delivery of high-quality care,” the CQC said. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 September 2020
  8. Content Article
    This year I’m seeing many more complaints on Twitter from healthcare professionals about the misuse of incident reporting. The threat “I’m going to Datix you!” is coming up time and time again and people are complaining about being “datixed” inappropriately. One Twitter user recently said: “Datix has been used as a verb so many times on my feed today that my head might explode”. Datix has become associated with fear, retribution and blame. But how has this come about and what can be done to change it? Datix as a company has seen many changes since I stood down as chief executive in 2015. The most noticeable is a change of name to RLDatix, reflecting the acquisition in 2018 of Canadian rival RL Solutions. Some things, however, have not changed. Healthcare professionals still complain about the length and complexity of the Datix forms. They still complain about the lack of action from the incident reports they submit. They still complain about getting into trouble as a result of reporting an incident themselves (particularly reports about staffing levels). And they still complain about the threat of someone else including them in an incident report as a means of coercion: “If you don’t do this, I’m going to Datix you.” All of these factors are also common to incident reporting systems from other suppliers, but because Datix has the lion’s share of the UK market, they have contributed to an overwhelmingly negative sentiment about Datix. The issues The problem with complicated and contradictory forms is that Datix gives local administrators complete freedom to design the forms themselves. This results in forms that get longer and longer over time, as new people need to collect new information. The best forms I’ve seen are very short and contain the date, the time, the reporter’s details and free text boxes for a description of what happened and what action was taken. The very best forms I’ve seen have an additional free text box: “Your safety ideas”, asking the reporter if they can think of any ways that this type of incident could be avoided or mitigated in the future. It’s a good way to encourage people to think about safety; however, it does rely on someone at the other end of the report actually listening and responding. The issue with the lack of feedback is that it relies on someone following up, investigating and then reporting back on the incident. Or if the incident isn’t going to be investigated, the reporter should be sent an explanation. If reporters don’t get any feedback and can’t see any changes made as a result of reporting, they’re going to stop reporting. This is not a problem with the incident reporting software, but an issue of the system within which it is used. The issue of the threat and fear of reporting is more deep-seated and harder to change. It’s partly linked to the other two issues – if incident reporting has no positive outcomes, it’s seen only as a burden and a tool for punishment. It’s also a symptom of a culture of fear, bullying and a lack of resources, where stressed managers want to discourage the reporting of incidents as they don’t have the time or resources to do anything about them. There are constant calls for culture change. But culture change is difficult and it’s hard to know where to start. We can, however, take incremental actions that contribute to a shift in culture. Culture change One example is the former Calgary Health Region in Canada, which had a culture where incident reporting was being used for performance management, with managers reprimanding staff who reported incidents. Recognising this was having a bad effect on staff and patients, Calgary Health Region reconfigured Datix so that the managers couldn’t see information that would identify the reporters. This didn’t change the culture overnight, but it gave staff confidence that they could report incidents in an environment free from punishment. Coupled with the setting up of a separate central department responsible for safety and investigations, this set the organisation on the long road to culture change. An excellent write up of the system that Calgary implemented can be found here. Would that system work here in the NHS? Yes it would help, but it doesn’t go far enough in a system where incident reporting has got such a bad name. We need something much more radical. What if we were to abolish incident reporting completely? Automated incident reporting systems This doesn’t mean we have to remove investigation and learning from the patient safety toolkit. It does mean that we can obtain information about incidents from places other than manually input incident report forms. The technology already exists to do this. We can monitor a hospital’s IT systems in real time to see if an incident had happened or for signs that an incident was about to happen. There would be no need to replace existing incident management systems, just the method of getting the incidents into the systems and a change to the processes around them. Such an automated incident reporting system already exists – again, in Canada – at The Ottawa Hospital. The hospital devised rules, called e-triggers, that automatically create an incident record based on certain criteria in other hospital IT systems. One such trigger might be a return to the emergency department within three days. The creation of the incident record also sends a notification to a clinician to review the record and answer some simple questions to determine if a follow up or investigation is needed. You can read some of the results from the system in this BMJ Quality & Safety paper. Although they haven’t done away with incident forms completely, this is a step in the right direction. I don’t know of anyone who has done anything similar here in the NHS, but I believe this system would go a long way towards the goal of eliminating the threat of “I’m going to Datix you”. A call to action Set up triggers to automatically send potential incidents from other IT systems into existing patient safety reporting systems. Software suppliers should take the lead on this. Simplify current incident report forms so they are as quick as possible to complete. Give clear guidance on what incident reporting should and should not be used for, with assurances that no one will get into trouble for reporting an incident or being included in an incident report. Do you have any ideas on how we can improve incident reporting and prevent the threat of “I’m going to Datix you”? Please join the discussion on the hub.
  9. Content Article
    Key findings The Covid-19 pandemic has put the UK health and care workforce under unprecedented pressure. The workforce had been struggling to cope even before the pandemic took hold. Staff stress, absenteeism, turnover and intentions to quit had reached alarmingly high levels in 2019, with large numbers of nurse and midwife vacancies across the health and care system. And then the pandemic struck. The impact of the pandemic on the nursing and midwifery workforce has been unprecedented and will be felt for a long time to come. The crisis has also laid bare and exacerbated longstanding problems faced by nurses and midwives, including inequalities, inadequate working conditions and chronic excessive work pressures. The health and wellbeing of nurses and midwives are essential to the quality of care they can provide for people and communities, affecting their compassion, professionalism and effectiveness. This review investigated how to transform nurses’ and midwives’ workplaces so that they can thrive and flourish and are better able to provide the compassionate, high-quality care that they wish to offer. Nurse and midwives have three core work needs that must be met to ensure wellbeing and motivation at work, and to minimise workplace stress: autonomy, belonging and contribution. This report sets out eight key recommendations designed to meet these three core work needs. These recommendations focus on: authority, empowerment and influence; justice and fairness; work conditions and working schedules; teamworking; culture and leadership; workload; management and supervision; and learning, education and development.
  10. Content Article
    "The book describes how a process oriented management system, already well established in other safety critical industries, can be used in the healthcare industry to ensure patient safety. The principles of the management system are rooted in Safety 2 and the book gives practical. detailed instructions on how to create such a system, with processes that map out 'work as done'. The book also explains how healthcare differs from other industries and describes how to implement a safety management system within a healthcare organisation. Leadership, culture and learning also have central roles to play in patient-safe care and the author explains how the management system must work with these three elements. Aside from this, I particularly like the practical nature of the book and the way you give detailed instructions so it can serve as a manual for creating and implementing a management system, based on learning from other industries and the principles of Safety 2. I've seen other people advocate for the use of a safety management system in healthcare, but you have taken it much further than that. I've certainly not seen anyone giving such detail on the practical steps to take to create one." Jonathan Hazan Chairman at Patient Safety Learning. Chief Executive at Perfect Ward
  11. News Article
    NHS leaders are being encouraged to have ‘difficult discussions’ about inequalities, after a trust found its BAME staff reported being ‘systematically… bullied and harassed’, along with other signs of discrimination. A report published by Newcastle Hospitals Foundation Trust found the trust’s black, Asian and minority ethnic staff are more likely than white staff to be bullied or harassed by colleagues, less likely to reach top jobs, and experience higher rates of discrimination from managers. It claims to be the first in-depth review into pay gaps and career progression among BAME workforce at a single trust. The new report revealed that, in a trust survey carried out last year, some BAME staff described being subjected to verbal abuse and racial slurs by colleagues; had left departments after being given no chance of progression; and been “systematically… bullied and harassed”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 September 2020
  12. Content Article
    Key findings The survey results point to conclusions that seem to be equally applicable across different regions. Health workers in all countries need sufficient education and awareness to recognise and report workplace hazards. Workplace cultures must be improved to mandate appropriate reporting of hazards and to improve safety practices and especially to eliminate preventable bullying and harassment that can be intensified during an organisationally destabilising pandemic experience. The global health worker job market is very mobile like COVID-19, so lessons learned in one country or region must be translated to others. Economic classification, region, occupation and sex all play key roles in health worker’s perception of health and safety risk and mitigation measures in the workplace. Despite significant results across different demographic measures, the overall consensus of participants was clear. In spite of calls to action by the international community, risks to healthcare workers remain and mitigation measures are insufficient or in some cases nonexistent. These issues will continue to haunt the healthcare sector and will continue to exacerbate staff shortages globally. In the face of COVID-19 and its impacts on workplaces, it is also another reminder to the global health community to help those countries in need.
  13. News Article
    Accidents on maternity wards cost the NHS nearly £1 billion last year, Jeremy Hunt, the chairman of the Commons health committee, has revealed. The former health secretary said the bill for maternity legal action was nearly twice the amount spent on maternity doctors in England. It was part of the NHS’s £2.4 billion total legal fees and compensation bill, up £137 million on the previous year. Mr Hunt has also told the Daily Mail there is evidence that hospitals are failing to provide details of avoidable deaths despite being ordered to do so three years ago as he highlighted “appalling high” figures which showed that up to 150 lives are being lost needlessly every week in public hospitals. Responding to the figures, Mr Hunt said: "Something has gone badly wrong." In 2017, he told trusts to publish data on the number of avoidable deaths among patients in their care. But freedom of information responses from 59 hospital trusts, about half the total, found less than a quarter gave meaningful data on avoidable deaths. Mr Hunt cited “major cultural challenges” which he blamed for preventing doctors and nurses from accepting any blame. He blamed lawyers who get involved “almost immediately” once something goes wrong with a patient’s care. “Doctors, nurses and midwives worry they could lose their licence if they are found to have made a mistake. Hospital managers worry about the reputation of their organisation,” he added. Mr Hunt said: “We have appallingly high levels of avoidable harm and death in our healthcare system. We seem to just accept it as inevitable.” An NHS spokesman said: “Delivering the safest possible health service for patients is a priority, and the national policy on learning from deaths is clear that hospitals must publish this information every three months, as well as an annual summary, so that they are clear about any problems that have been identified and how they are being addressed. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 18 September 2020
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