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Found 115 results
  1. News Article
    An NHS trust has been criticised for advising pregnant women to stay at home for as long as possible during labour to increase the chances of a “normal birth”. University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust also suggested mothers should avoid having epidurals or inductions and should try to have a home birth. The advice has been described as “shocking” by experts, who said the guidance was contrary to evidence and could be “dangerous” for mothers and babies. Others criticised the language used by the trust which suggested women who needed medical help were somehow “abnormal”. Earlier this month, the Bristol trust paid out £5.8m in compensation to the family of a six-year-old boy after he was left brain damaged at birth following complications during labour. After being contacted by The Independent, the trust deleted the childbirth advice from its website and accepted it was “outdated”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 13 February 2020
  2. Content Article
    The Government’s response and action needed The Government’s response to the publication of the Inquiry’s report advised that they would look at these recommendations and report back ”in three to four months’ time”.[3] When doing this it is vital that these recommendations are considered holistically as part of the wider change that is needed, where patient safety is treated as a strategic purpose of healthcare. Patient safety is currently treated as one of many priorities to be weighed against each other. We think it is wrong that safety is negotiable. Patient safety must be core to the purpose of healthcare, reflected in everything that it does. We look forward to the Government’s response to the Inquiry recommendations. This must include action for change, including: Culture change Creating a culture in healthcare where staff feel safe and secure in reporting patient safety concerns, knowing their concerns will be actively welcomed, listened to and acted upon. Healthcare organisations should regularly and independently assess their organisational culture and have programmes of action to ensure a just and learning culture is in place. Staff reporting concerns An open and learning culture clearly signposting staff on how to raise concerns and that these concerns are acted upon. Harmed patients are supported Patients receive the support they need when things go wrong. ‘Harmed patient care pathways’ outline the provision of advice, guidance, practical and psychological support to patients and families. Learning from complaints All private patients have the right to mandatory independent resolution of their complaint. Patient safety applies to all, irrespective of whether care is provided for in the NHS or independent sector. #Share4Safety Organisations develop systems and measurements to improve patient safety, collecting data on patient safety and sharing learning. We strongly support the recommendation made by the Inquiry that where a healthcare professional is suspended with a perceived risk to patient safety, these concerns should be communicated to other providers that they work for. Leading and owning patient safety A new model for leadership and governance for patient safety that operates in both the NHS and independent sector. There should be high standards and behaviours set for our leaders and they should be supported by specialist patient safety experts in executive and non-executive board roles. Organisations need clear and published goals for patient safety with board focus and effectively oversight on reducing patient harm. The healthcare system operates as one coordinated system with patient safety as a core purpose. If action isn’t taken, then the Paterson Inquiry will become yet another report of unsafe care where sympathetic noises are made but no real learning and change occurs. If Government and leaders say that ‘lessons have been learned’ then they need to tell us what those lessons are, what actions they are taking, and publish updated reports on their progress and share these publicly. Without having these measures in place, how can the public and patients be assured that there won’t be future reports of unsafe care? As the Inquiry Chair said, “it is wishful thinking that this could not happen again”. References The Guardian. Ian Paterson inquiry: more than 1,000 patients had needless operations. 4 February 2020. The Right Reverend Graham Jones. Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Issues raised by Paterson, February 2020. House of Commons Debate, Paterson Inquiry, 4 February 2020, Volume 671.
  3. News Article
    The toxicity of a commonly prescribed beta blocker needs better recognition across the NHS to prevent deaths from overdose, a new report warns today. The Healthcare and Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report focuses on propranolol, a cardiac drug that is now predominately used to treat migraine and anxiety symptoms. It is highly toxic when taken in large quantities and patients deteriorate quickly, making it difficult to treat. The investigation highlighted that these risks aren’t known widely enough by medical staff across the health service, whether issuing prescriptions to at risk patients, responding to overdose calls or carrying out emergency treatment. Dr Stephen Drage, ICU consultant and HSIB’s Director of Investigations, said: “Propranolol is a powerful and safe drug, benefitting patients across the country. However, what our investigation has highlighted is just how potent it can be in overdose. This safety risk spans every area of healthcare – from the GPs that initially prescribe the drug, to ambulance staff who respond to those urgent calls and the clinicians that administer emergency treatment." The report also emphasises that there is a link between anxiety, depression and migraine, and that more research is needed to understand the interactions between antidepressants and propranolol in overdose. Read full story Source: HSIB, 6 February 2020
  4. Content Article
    Safety recommendations The safety recommendations are focused on: Updating clinical guidance (NICE) and the UK’s pharmaceutical reference source (the British National Formulary) on use of propranolol and highlighting the toxicity in overdose. National organisations supporting their staff membership to understand the risks when prescribing propranolol to certain patients. Improving the clinical oversight in ambulance control rooms and the treatment/transfer guidance for ambulance staff for propranolol/beta blocker overdose. As well as the safety recommendations, the report makes several safety observations and highlights some safety actions that have already been undertaken by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The report also emphasises that there is a link between anxiety, depression and migraine, and that more research is needed to understand the interactions between antidepressants and propranolol in overdose.
  5. News Article
    The new executive must act urgently if it is to "divert the current mental health epidemic among young people", Northern Ireland's children's commissioner has said. Koulla Yiasouma said progress in implementing recommendations in a report on children and young people's mental health services, produced 12 months ago, had been "too slow". The stark read captured the scale of youth mental health problems in Northern Ireland. The report found that young people are waiting too long to ask for help and even longer to access the right support. Health Minister Robin Swann said his aim was that young people do not wait longer than nine weeks to see a CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) professional."I take the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people very seriously and I am committed to working with my colleagues in a new executive working group on mental well-being, resilience and suicide prevention," he said. Read full story Source: 6 February 2020
  6. News Article
    Shipman, Mid Staffordshire, Morecambe Bay, and now Ian Paterson, the breast surgeon that performed botched and unnecessary operations on hundreds of women. The list of NHS-related scandals has got longer. It's tempting to say the health service has not learned lessons even after a string of revelations and reviews. But is that fair? asks BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym. The inquiry, chaired by Bishop Graham James, makes clear there were failings at every level of a dysfunctional health system when it came to patient safety. The public and private health systems did not compare notes about suspicious behaviour by a consultant. Staff working with Paterson thought that his surgical methods were unusual but, perhaps cowed by being ignored after raising concerns, kept their heads down. Add to that the power and status of a surgeon in the medical world and, in the words of the report, Paterson was "hiding in plain sight". So could it happen again? James says it's clearly impossible to eliminate the activities of determined criminals in any profession. He acknowledges that some improvements have been made on policing. But he says that a decade on from the Paterson scandal, he is not convinced that medical regulators, with a combined budget of half a billion pounds a year, are doing enough collectively or collaboratively to make the system safe for patients. The review chair notes tellingly that while regulators spoke of major improvements which should identify another Paterson, some doctors and nurses had told the inquiry that it was "entirely possible that something similar could happen now". Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 February 2020
  7. Content Article
    Recommendations from the report There should be a single repository of the whole practice of consultants across England, setting out their practising privileges and other critical consultant performance data, for example, how many times a consultant has performed a particular procedure and how recently. This should be accessible and understandable to the public. It should be mandated for use by managers and healthcare professionals in both the NHS and independent sector It should be standard practice that consultants in both the NHS and the independent sector should write to patients, outlining their condition and treatment, in simple language, and copy this letter to the patient’s GP, rather than writing to the GP and sending a copy to the patient. Differences between how the care of patients in the independent sector is organised and the care of patients in the NHS is organised, should be explained clearly to patients who choose to be treated privately, or whose treatment is provided in the independent sector but funded by the NHS. This should include 219 Recommendations clarification of how consultants are engaged at the private hospital, including the use of practising privileges and indemnity, and the arrangements for emergency provision and intensive care. There should be a short period introduced into the process of patients giving consent for surgical procedures, to allow them time to reflect on their diagnosis and treatment options. We recommend that the GMC monitors this as part of ‘Good Medical Practice’ The CQC, as a matter of urgency, should assure itself that all hospital providers are complying effectively with up-to-date national guidance on MDT meetings, including in breast cancer care, and that patients are not at risk of harm due to non-compliance in this area. Information about the means to escalate a complaint to an independent body is communicated more effectively in both the NHS and independent sector. All private patients should have the right to mandatory independent resolution of their complaint. The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust board should check that all patients of Paterson have been recalled, and to communicate with any who have not been seen. We recommend that Spire should check that all patients of Paterson have been recalled, and to communicate with any who have not been seen, and that they should check that they have been given an ongoing treatment plan in the same way that has been provided for patients in the NHS. A national framework or protocol, with guidance, is developed about how recall of patients should be managed and communicated. This framework or protocol should specify that the process is centred around the patient’s needs, provide advice on how recall decisions are made, and advise what resource is required and how this might be provided. This should apply to both the independent sector and the NHS. The Government should, as a matter of urgency, reform the current regulation of indemnity products for healthcare professionals, in light of the serious shortcomings identified by the Inquiry, and introduce a nationwide safety net to ensure patients are not disadvantaged. The Government should ensure that the current system of regulation and the collaboration of the regulators serves patient safety as the top priority, given the ineffectiveness of the system identified in this Inquiry. If, when a hospital investigates a healthcare professional’s behaviour, including the use of an HR process, any perceived risk to patient safety should result in the suspension of that healthcare professional. If the healthcare professional also works at another provider, any concerns about them should be communicated to that provider. The Government addresses, as a matter of urgency, this gap in responsibility and liability.
  8. News Article
    A culture of "avoidance and denial" allowed a breast surgeon to perform botched and unnecessary operations on hundreds of women, an independent inquiry has found. The independent inquiry into Ian Paterson's malpractice has recommended the recall of his 11,000 patients for their surgery to be assessed. Paterson is serving a 20-year jail term for 17 counts of wounding with intent. One of Paterson's colleagues has been referred to police and five more to health watchdogs by the inquiry. The disgraced breast surgeon worked with cancer patients at NHS and private hospitals in the West Midlands over 14 years. His unregulated "cleavage-sparing" mastectomies, in which breast tissue was left behind, meant the disease returned in many of his patients. Others had surgery they did not need - some even finding out years later they did not have cancer. Patients were let down by the healthcare system "at every level" said the inquiry chair, Bishop of Norwich the Rt Revd Graham James, who identified "multiple individual and organisational failures". One of the key recommendations from the report is that the Government should make patient safety a the top priority, given the ineffectiveness of the system identified in this Inquiry. Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 February 2020
  9. Content Article
    This resource by the Cancer Council advises these safety guidelines to reduce exposure to chemotherapy drugs at home, both for you and your family and friends during the recovery period at home. Safety precautions can vary depending on the drugs you receive, so ask your treatment team about your individual situation.
  10. Content Article
    The new research maps the provision of safer custody telephone lines across the prison estate - dedicated phone lines which enable family members and others to pass on urgent information when they have concerns. It finds that provision is patchy, under-resourced and even non-existent in some prisons, leaving families struggling to share their concerns with prison staff. The report reveals that: Almost two in five (37%) prisons in England and Wales appeared to have no functioning dedicated safer custody telephone lines for families to get in touch. Of these, nearly one in five prisons (18%) had no publicly advertised number for a dedicated safer custody telephone line. A further 18% of prisons advertised a dedicated line, but when called the number either wasn’t operational, was not answered, or went through to a general prison switchboard. Of the 75 dedicated safer custody telephone lines that went through to safer custody departments, only 13 (17%) were answered by a member of staff. Over 80% of dedicated safer custody lines that went through to safer custody departments (62 prisons in total) put the caller straight through to an answer machine.
  11. Content Article
    In this series of case studies, CQC highlight what providers have done to take a flexible approach to staffing. The case studies show different ways of organising services. They focus on the quality of care, patient safety, and efficiency, rather than just numbers and ratios of staff. They illustrate how providers have redesigned services to make the best use of the available range of skills and discipline or they found new ways to work with others in the local health and care system. Safe, effective staffing is about having enough people with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. It's about team work, not silo working. It's about developing staff to support each other in new roles - making sure patients follow the smoothest possible journey on their care pathway.
  12. Content Article
    The Primary Care Cancer Toolkit has been developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in collaboration with Cancer Research UK as part of our partnership to raise awareness and knowledge of the role of primary care in cancer control. It is designed for use by primary healthcare professionals in the UK. If you are accessing these resources from outside the UK, bear in mind that guidelines and systems may be different. Resources are split into professional and patient sections. Professional resources consist of guidelines, information and tools aimed at those working in primary healthcare. Those within the patient section are websites, information leaflets and other resources aimed at a public audience which a healthcare professional can signpost patients to during or post consultation.
  13. Content Article
    This document provides the guidance for the CQUIN scheme for 2020/21. It sets out details of both the CCG and Prescribed Specialised Services (PSS) schemes. This includes: prevention of ill health mental health patient safety best practice pathways.
  14. News Article
    The failure to pass a damning report about a scandal-hit hospital trust to the care watchdog has been criticised by the man who led the inquiry into baby deaths at Morecambe Bay. On Friday, a coroner ruled that the death of baby Harry Richford in 2017 resulted from neglect in the maternity unit of East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust. A report by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (RCOG) completed a year earlier had warned of issues that contributed to Harry’s death, including senior doctors not showing up for their shifts. However, the report was never passed on to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), despite the recommendation of the Morecambe Bay inquiry in 2015 that relevant external reviews should be passed on to the watchdog. Bill Kirkup, who chaired the inquiry into deaths of mothers and babies at Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness, told The Independent: “When there is sufficient concern about a service to prompt an external review, the report must be available immediately to those responsible for assuring the quality of the service. That was the reason for the recommendation of the Morecambe Bay investigation, and it is disappointing that the Care Quality Commission apparently had no sight of this report until now.” Read full story Source: 26 January 2020
  15. Content Article
    The authors of this paper, published by BMJ Quality & Safety, believe that although there are deep anxieties and many sources of resistance to change in health care, there are also individuals and organisations which are exhibiting creativity and leadership. To support these efforts, they offer concepts and practical examples drawn from several industries including healthcare. Three ideas underlie their argument: Healthcare organisations can improve quality and other outcomes by enhancing their capabilities for organisational learning. Organisational learning requires leadership from executives, line (middle) managers, and informal network leaders throughout organisations. Leaders are more effective when they take a broad view of the interdependencies among individuals, teams, task flows, systems, and cultural meanings.
  16. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) missed multiple opportunities to identify abuse of patients at a privately run hospital and did not act on the concerns of its own members, an independent review has found. Bosses at the CQC have been criticised in an independent report by David Noble into why the regulator buried a critical report into Whorlton Hall hospital, in County Durham, in 2015. His report published today said the CQC was wrong not to make public concerns from one of its inspection teams in 2015. “The decision not to publish was wrong,” his report said, adding: “This was a missed opportunity to record a poorly performing independent mental health institution which CQC as the regulator, with the information available to it, should have identified at that time.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 January 2020
  17. News Article
    Up to half of all patients who suffer an acute aortic dissection may die before reaching crucial specialist care, according to a new Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report. The report highlights the difficulty which can face hospital staff in recognising acute aortic dissection. The investigation was triggered by the case of Richard, a fit and healthy 54-year old man, who arrived at his local emergency department by ambulance after experiencing chest pain and nausea during exercise. It took four hours before the diagnosis of an acute aortic dissection was made, and he spent a further hour waiting for the results of a CT scan. Although Richard was then transferred urgently by ambulance to the nearest specialist care centre, he sadly died during the journey. The report has identified a number of risks in the diagnostic process which might result in the condition being missed. These include aortic dissection not being suspected because patients can initially appear quite well or because symptoms might be attributed to a heart or lung condition. It also highlighted that, once the diagnosis is suspected, an urgent CT scan is required to confirm that an acute aortic dissection is present. Gareth Owens, Chair of the national patient association Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland, welcomed the publication of HSIB’s report, saying: “HSIB’s investigation and report have highlighted that timely, accurate recognition of acute Aortic Dissection is a national patient safety issue. This is exactly what patients and bereaved relatives having been telling the NHS, Government and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine for several years." Read full story Source: HSIB, 23 January 2020
  18. Content Article
    Safety recommendations HSIB have made two safety recommendations to help improve the recognition of acute aortic dissection: The first is to add ‘aortic pain’ to the list of possible presenting features included in the triage systems used to prioritise patients attending emergency departments. The second recommends the development of an effective national process to help staff in emergency departments detect and manage this condition.
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