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Found 110 results
  1. News Article
    Pregnant women should be allowed to have one person alongside them during scans, appointments, labour and birth, under new NHS guidance sent to trusts in England. The chosen person should be regarded as "an integral part of both the woman and baby's care" - not just a visitor. Previously, individual hospitals could draw up their own rules on partners being present. This meant many women were left to give birth alone. The guidance says pregnant women "value the support from a partner, relative, friend or other person through pregnancy and childbirth, as it facilitates emotional wellbeing". Women should therefore have access to support "at all times during their maternity journey". And trusts should make it easy for this to happen, while keeping the risk of coronavirus transmission within NHS maternity services as low as possible. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 December 2020
  2. Content Article
    This blog in the BMJ, recognises that bullying also occurs with in patient advocacy role and the patient community.
  3. News Article
    Do-not-resuscitate orders were wrongly allocated to some care home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing potentially avoidable deaths, the first phase of a review by England’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found. The regulator warned that some of the “inappropriate” do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) notices applied in the spring may still be in place and called on all care providers to check with the person concerned that they consent. The review was prompted by concerns about the blanket application of the orders in care homes in the early part of the pandemic, amid then prevalent fears that NHS hospitals would be overwhelmed. The CQC received 40 submissions from the public, mostly about DNACPR orders that had been put in place without consulting with the person or their family. These included reports of all the residents of one care home being given a DNACPR notice, and of the notices routinely being applied to anyone infected with Covid. Some people reported that they did not even know a DNACPR order had been placed on their relative until they were quite unwell. “There is evidence of unacceptable and inappropriate DNACPRs being made at the start of the pandemic,” the interim report found, adding that the practice may have caused “potentially avoidable death”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 December 2020
  4. News Article
    A mother fighting for a public inquiry into the death of her son and more than 20 other patients at an NHS mental health hospital in Essex has won a debate in parliament after more than 100,000 people backed her campaign. On Monday, MPs in the House of Commons will debate Melanie Leahy’s petition calling for a public inquiry into the death of her son Matthew in 2012, as well as 24 other patients who died at The Linden Centre, a secure mental health unit in Chelmsford, Essex, since 2000. The centre is run by Essex Partnership University NHS Trust which has been heavily criticised by regulators over the case. A review by the health service ombudsman found 19 serious failings in his care and the NHS response to his mother’s concerns. This included staff changing records after his death to suggest he had a full care plan in place when he didn’t. Matthew was detained under the Mental Health Act but was found hanged in his room seven days later. He had made allegations of being raped at the centre, but this was not taken seriously by staff nor properly investigated by the NHS. The trust has admitted Matthew’s care fell below acceptable standards. In November, it pleaded guilty to health and safety failings linked to 11 deaths of patients in 11 years. Read full story Source: The Independent, 29 November 2020
  5. News Article
    The chairman of an inquiry that has confirmed a 20-year cover-up over the avoidable death of a baby has warned there are other families who may have suffered a similar ordeal. Publishing the findings of his investigation into the 2001 death of Elizabeth Dixon, Dr Bill Kirkup said he wanted to see action taken to prevent harmed families having to battle for years to get answers. Dr Kirkup, who has been involved in multiple high-profile investigations of NHS failures in recent years, said: “There has been considerable difficulty in establishing investigations, where events are regarded as historic. I don't like the term historic investigations. I think that these things remain current for the people who've suffered harm, until they're resolved, it’s not historic for them. “There has been significant reluctance to look at a variety of cases. Mr and Mrs Dixon were courageous and very persistent and they were given help by others and were successful in securing the investigation and it worries me that other people haven't been. “I do think we should look at how we can establish a proper mechanism that will make sure that such cases are heard." “It's impossible to rule out there being other people who are in a similar position. In fact, I know of some who are. I think it's as important for them that they get heard, and that they get things that should have been looked at from the start looked at now, if that's the best that we can do.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 November 2020
  6. Event
    The Deteriorating Patient Summit focuses on recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient through improving the reliability of patient observations and ensuring quality of care. The conference will include National Developments including the recent recommendations from the Royal College of Physicians on NEWS2 and COVID-19, and implementing the recommendations from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch Report Investigation into recognising and responding to critically unwell patients. The conference will include practical case study based sessions on identifying patients at risk of deterioration, improving practice in patient observations, responding to the deteriorating patient, improving escalation and understanding success factors in escalation, sepsis and COVID-19, involving patients and families in recognising deterioration, and improving the communication and use of NEWS2 in the community, including care homes, and at the interface of care. Follow the conference on Twitter #deterioratingpatient Register
  7. News Article
    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been criticised by the national health ombudsman for the ‘maladministration’ of a 2018 review into the death of a teenage girl under the care of one of England’s top specialist hospitals, HSJ can reveal. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) came to the conclusion after investigating a DHSC review into the 1996 death of 17-year-old Krista Ocloo which had been requested by her mother. Krista died at home of acute heart failure in December 1996. She had been admitted to the Royal Brompton Hospital with chest pains in January of that year. The PHSO report states her mother was told “there was no cause for concern” and that another appointment would be scheduled in six months. This follow-up appointment did not happen. The young woman’s death was considered by the hospital’s complaints process, an independent panel review and an inquiry into the hospital’s paediatric cardiac services. They concluded the doctor involved was not responsible for Krista’s death – though the paediatric services inquiry criticised the hospital for poor communication. A coroner declined to open an inquest into the case. Civil action against the hospital, brought by Ms Ocloo, found Krista’s death could not have been prevented. However, a High Court judge found that the failure to arrange appropriate follow-up by the RBH was “negligent”. A spokeswoman for PHSO said: “Our investigation found maladministration by the Department for Health and Social Care, which should have been more transparent in its communication. The department’s failure to be open and clear compounded the suffering of a parent who was already grieving the loss of her child.” A DHSC spokeswoman said: “We profoundly regret any distress caused to Ms Ocloo. “[The PHSO] report found that in communicating with Ms Ocloo the department’s actions were – in places – not consistent with relevant guidance. The department has writen to Ms Ocloo to apologise for this and provide further information about the review.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 12 November 2020
  8. Content Article
    Definition The authors of this paper have developed a definition, including both a short-form and a long-form definition. Here is the short-form and the long-form can be found in the full paper: Patient and family* engagement in the ICU is an active partnership between health professionals and patients and families working at every level of the healthcare system to improve health and the quality, safety, and delivery of healthcare. Arenas for such engagement include but are not limited to participation in direct care, communication of patient values and goals, and transformation of care processes to promote and protect individual respect and dignity. PFE comprises five core concepts: Collaboration, Respect and Dignity, Activation and Participation, Information Sharing, and Decision Making. Brief summaries of the core concepts are presented in Table 1 and depicted visually in Figure 1. *Family is broadly defined to include all the individuals whom the patient wants involved in his/her care, regardless of whether they are related biologically, legally, or otherwise; if the patient is noncommunicative, health professionals will make their best effort to identify and include the individuals whom the patient would want involved in his/her care.
  9. Content Article
    When considering the persistence of unsafe care, a recurring theme that emerges is a failure to involve patients in their own care. Patient safety concerns raised by patients and family members are too often not acted on and, when harm occurs, they are often left out of the investigation process. As set out in Patient Safety Learning’s A Blueprint for Action, we share the view that patient engagement is key to improving patient safety, with this forming one of our six foundations of safer care.[1] The NHS Patient Safety Strategy identifies the involvement of patients in patient safety “throughout the whole system” as a key part of achieving its future patient safety vision.[2] The strategy includes plans to create a patient safety partners framework; earlier this year, the NHS published a consultation on its draft Framework for involving patients in patient safety.[3] In this blog, we will provide a summary of our feedback to the consultation. You can find our full submission at the end of this blog. Involving patients in their own safety The NHS Framework is divided into two parts, the first of which sets out the broad approach that should be taken to involving patients in their own healthcare and safety. We particularly welcome its emphasis on: encouraging patients to ask questions; if problems occur, the importance of providing information and help to maintain patients’ safety; the role of patient incident reports and complaints as a source of learning. In our response, we fed back with our thoughts on improvements in two specific areas - complaints and patient safety incident reporting. Complaints We share the view set out in the Framework that patient complaints should be viewed as “a valuable resource for monitoring and improving patient safety”.[3] We believe it’s important the Framework is joined up with the ongoing work of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), who have recently completed a consultation on a new Complaints Standard Framework for the NHS.[4] We believe that this presents an opportunity to embed patient safety into these processes and we responded to the PHSO consultation highlighting this. Patient safety incident reporting The Framework highlights the importance of patients reporting patient safety incidents, noting that the future introduction of a new Patient Safety Incident Management System will create “new tools to more easily participate in the recording of patient safety incidents and to support national learning”.[3] We believe more needs to be to be done to address the cultural barriers that deter patients from reporting concerns. Patients, carers and families need to feel assured that their stories and testimonies are welcome. Alongside this, it is crucial that, when concerns are reported, they are used to inform the assessment of risk and patient safety. As noted in the Cumberlege Review, not only are incidents not being reported but the existing systems “cannot be relied upon to identify promptly significant adverse outcomes arising from a medication or device because it lacks the means to do so”.[5] Patient Safety Partners The second part of the Framework is concerned with the newly proposed role of Patient Safety Partners (PSPs) in NHS organisations. PSPs would formally participate in safety and quality committees, patient safety improvement projects and investigation oversight groups. In our consultation response, we highlighted several areas where we feel these proposals require strengthening if they are to be successful. Training and guidance for staff The Framework rightly acknowledges the importance of having appropriate training and guidance for staff to help support the new PSP roles, pointing towards the new National patient safety syllabus as a key source. We have concerns that the National patient safety syllabus, in its current form, does not have a strong enough focus on patient involvement to provide this support. We highlighted the need for a greater emphasis on the skills and knowledge required to understand why and how patients can be actively involved in patient safety in our response to the consultation on the draft syllabus earlier this year.[6] We believe the syllabus could be significantly strengthened by drawing on further research and resources available in this area, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Safety Curriculum Guide.[7] Support and peer networks for PSPs We believe there needs to be more clarity about the induction and training that would be made available to PSPs. We also make the case that PSPs need access to networks with their peers PSPs in other organisations, enabling them to share good practice for safety improvement and receive support from others. We believe that it would be beneficial to create these networks alongside the new PSP roles. We suggest it would be helpful to draw on experiences of other programmes involving patients in patient safety, such as the WHO Patients for Patient Safety programme in the UK and the Canadian Patients for Patient Safety programme.[8] [9] Patient Safety Specialists The Framework makes brief reference to the relationship between future PSPs and the newly proposed Patient Safety Specialists, which all trusts and CCGs have been asked to put in place by the end of November.[10] We believe that if Patient Safety Specialists are to work effectively in organisations then these roles will need to be filled by leaders with expertise in patient engagement. Responding to a consultation earlier this year, we commented that those filling these roles will need strong skills and experience.[11] We also believe the Framework should place a great emphasis on the role of Patient Safety Specialists in supporting the work of PSPs. Co-production In our feedback, we also argue that there should be a strong emphasis on co-production with PSPs and more broadly throughout this Framework. ‘Co-production’ is an activity, an approach and an ethos which involves members of staff, patients and the public working together, sharing power and responsibility across the entirety of a project.[12] In our view, projects and patient safety programmes should always be co-produced with patients where possible. What needs to be included in the Framework As well as commenting on the specific proposals of the Framework, we identified two additional areas which we believe should be added to it: 1. Measuring and monitoring performance Patient Safety Learning believes that, to make improvements in the involvement of patients in patient safety, we need to be able to clearly measure and monitor our progress. Publicly reporting on changes and improvements made through patient involvement and patient safety allows for sharing examples of good practice. It would also mitigate against concerns that the role of PSP could become tokenistic in some organisations, resulting in little real impact. 2. Restorative Justice Many national healthcare systems and organisations are actively listening to, and engaging with, patients for learning through restorative justice. Restorative justice in healthcare allows patients to be heard, listened to, and respected. By patients, clinicians, healthcare leaders and policy makers engaging with one another on patient safety, it can help to establish trust with the patient. This can also provide the impetus for learning and action to be taken to prevent future harm. We commend the approach adopted by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health in how it responded to harm from surgical mesh and the impact this has had on improvements in patient safety.[13] Closer to home, there are some beacons of good practice within the NHS, such as the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.[14] We believe that the NHS should do more to share and promote a just and learning culture, asking organisations to develop and publish goals on their progress. Only one piece of the puzzle We welcome and recognise the positive steps being set out in the Framework to improve patient involvement in patient safety within the NHS. Our comments and suggestions for improvement are mainly centred around the need to ensure other key pieces are in place. Significant change is still needed. The Framework focuses on increasing patient involvement in governance and decision-making. This wider need for change in how we engage patients in patient safety is outlined in the recently published WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030.[15] It promotes a range of actions for governments and healthcare organisations to help engage patients and their families in patient safety; we would expect to see this reflected in the work of NHS England and NHS Improvement. Strengthened as we suggest, we believe that the Framework could make a big difference to improving patient involvement with patient safety. References Patient Safety Learning. The Patient-Safe Future: A Blueprint for Action, 2019. NHS England and NHS Improvement. The NHS Patient Safety Strategy: Safer culture, safe systems, safer patients, July 2019. NHS England and NHS Improvement. Framework for involving patients in patient safety, 10 March 2020. PHSO. Making Complaints Count: Supporting complaints handling in the NHS and UK Government Departments, July 2020. The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review. First Do No Harm, 8 July 2020. Patient Safety Learning. Patient Safety Learning’s response to the National patient safety syllabus 1.0, 28 February 2020. World Health Organization. Patient Safety Curriculum Guide, 2011. Action Against Medical Accidents. Patients for Patient Safety, Last Accessed 15 October 2020. Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, Last Accessed 16 October 2020. NHS England and NHS Improvement. Patient Safety Specialists, Last Accessed 15 October 2020. Patient Safety Learning. Response to the Patient Safety Specialists consultation, 12 March 2020. Dr Erin Walker, What should co-production look like?, 1 April 2019; National Institute for Health Research, Guidance on co-producing a research project, March 2018. Jo Wailling, Chris Marshall & Jill Wilkinson. Hearing and responding to the stories of survivors of surgical mesh: Ngā kōrero a ngā mōrehu – he urupare (A report for the Ministry of Health). Wellington: The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, Victoria University of Wellington, 2019. Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. Just and Learning Culture – What it Means for Mersey Care, Last Accessed 16 October 2020. World Health Organization. Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030: Towards Zero Patient Harm in Health Care, 28 August 2020.
  10. News Article
    Parents affected by serious failings in maternity units at a Welsh health board will be told of the findings of an independent investigation this autumn. Ten more cases at units run by Cwm Taf Morgannwg in the south Wales valleys have been found by a review, bringing the total number to 160. Maternity services at hospitals in Merthyr Tydfil and Llantrisant were placed in special measures last year. Failings at the maternity units were discovered after an investigation by two Royal Colleges, which found mothers faced "distressing experiences and poor care" between 2016 and 2018. The services at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant and Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil were also found to be "extremely dysfunctional" and under extreme pressure. A number of recommendations were set to make the service safe for pregnant women and those giving birth at the hospitals. The Welsh Government then appointed the Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel (IMSOP) to look back at cases, including neonatal deaths. Mick Giannasi, the chairman of IMSOP, said: "In the early autumn, we will start writing to mothers to say we have reviewed your care and this is what we found. "That will be quite distressing for the women because they will have to revisit all those things again. "But it's going to be a difficult period for staff as well because we know that the Royal Colleges review was very difficult for staff - some of the messages that they had to hear were very challenging and those things may be played out again." Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 September 2020
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