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Found 169 results
  1. Content Article
    These inspections have identified some good individual practice. But they have also found some common areas of concerns. These include: staff without the appropriate training, qualifications and competencies to carry out their role unsafe practice in the use of sedation and anaesthetics poor monitoring and management of patients whose condition might deteriorate a lack of attention to fundamental safety processes variable standards of governance and risk management failure to ensure consent is obtained in a two-stage process, with an appropriate cooling off period between initial consultation and surgery infection prevention and control standards not always being followed concerns about equipment maintenance.
  2. News Article
    Trusts have been set a series of “very stretching” targets to recover non-covid services to nearly normal levels in the next few months, in new guidance from NHS England. NHS England and Improvement set out the system’s priorities for the remainder of 2020-21 in a “phase three letter” sent to local leaders. It said the NHS must “return to near-normal levels of non-covid health services, making full use of the capacity available in the ‘window of opportunity’ between now and winter”, when further emergency and covid pressures are anticipated. In recent weeks providers have found it very difficult to resume many services, with many running at well below normal capacity, due to infection prevention measures, staffing gaps, and other covid-related barriers. The targets in the new guidance for phase three of the NHS’s covid response include: In September trusts must deliver “at least 80 per cent of their last year’s activity for both overnight electives and for outpatient/daycase procedures, rising to 90% in October (while aiming for 70% in August)”; “This means that systems need to very swiftly return to at least 90 per cent of their last year’s levels of MRI/CT and endoscopy procedures, with an ambition to reach 100 per cent by October.” “Trusts must hit 100 per cent of their last year’s activity for first outpatient attendances and follow-ups (face to face or virtually) from September through the balance of the year (and aiming for 90 per cent in August).” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 31 July 2020
  3. Content Article
    Following discussion with patients’ groups, national clinical and stakeholder organisations, and feedback from seven regional ‘virtual’ frontline leadership meetings, NHS England and Improvement have set out NHS priorities for this third phase. Their shared focus is on: Accelerating the return to near-normal levels of non-Covid health services, making full use of the capacity available in the ‘window of opportunity’ between now and winter. Preparation for winter demand pressures, alongside continuing vigilance in the light of further probable Covid spikes locally and possibly nationally. Doing the above in a way that takes account of lessons learned during the first Covid peak; locks in beneficial changes; and explicitly tackles fundamental challenges including: support for our staff, and action on inequalities and prevention. As part of this Phase Three work, and following engagement and discussion, NHS Engagement and Improvement have published a more detailed 2020/21 People Plan,
  4. Content Article
    The report offers an ethical framework and practical recommendations to help guide good practice nationally and locally to ensure: Clarity about goals of testing. Access, effectiveness, and efficiency. Acknowledgement and management of the strengths and limitations of the current test. Understanding how the test is used in practice and the implications of these uses. Clarity in relation to choices about testing both in principle and in practice. Clarity about data protection and confidentiality. Trustworthiness and legitimacy. High quality information and communication about testing.
  5. Content Article
    You may also like to watch: 2-minute Tuesdays: Safer apps for safer patients
  6. News Article
    Only two out of 23 recommendations from a royal college review into a trust’s troubled maternity services can be shown to be fully implemented, a new investigation has revealed. A learning and review committee, set up by East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, found that 11 more of the recommendations from a 2016 review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) were “partially” implemented. But it said there was either no evidence the remaining 10 had been delivered, or there was evidence they were not implemented. The original RCOG review looked at a number of cases where babies had died as well as broader issues within the maternity service at the trust. The committee was set up after an inquest into the death of Harry Richford, who died a week after his birth in 2017 at the trust’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Hospital in Thanet. Many of the issues which came to light at his inquest echoed those from the RCOG report. Committee chair Des Holden, medical director of Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network, highlighted the difficulties in tracking evidence and action plans during a time when the trust had significant changes in leadership. But he said the committee felt cases where evidence could not be found or the standard of evidence gave concern, the recommendations could not be said to be met. Derek Richford, Harry’s grandfather, said on behalf of the family: “We are saddened and shocked to find that over four years after the RCOG found fundamental systemic failings and made 23 recommendations, only two have been completed. It is not good enough for them to now say ‘leadership has changed’. The main board must take responsibility and be held to account.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 13 July 2020
  7. News Article
    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published its response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review. In its response, the MHRA said: “Today’s publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review is of profound importance for the MHRA, since the safety of the public is our first priority." "We therefore take this report and its findings extremely seriously. Throughout the Review’s work we have listened intently to the many distressing experiences of women and their families. We will now carefully study the findings and recommendations of the Report. We recognise that patient safety must be continually protected and that many of the major changes recommended by the Review cannot wait. We are therefore making changes without delay to ensure that we listen to patients and involve them in every aspect of our work. We are already taking steps to strengthen our collaboration with all bodies in the healthcare system and will strive to ensure that, working with these other bodies, the safety changes we advise are embedded without delay in clinical practice. We wholeheartedly commit to demonstrating to those patients and families who have shared their experiences during the Review, and anyone else who has suffered, that we have learned from them and are changing and improving because of what they have told us. We are determined to put patients and the public at the heart of everything we do." Read full statement Source: GOV.UK, 8 July 2020
  8. Content Article
    Recommendations The Government should immediately issue a fulsome apology on behalf of the healthcare system to the families affected by Primodos, sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. The appointment of a Patient Safety Commissioner who would be an independent public leader with a statutory responsibility. The Commissioner would champion the value of listening to patients and promoting users’ perspectives in seeking improvements to patient safety around the use of medicines and medical devices. A new independent Redress Agency for those harmed by medicines and medical devices should be created based on models operating effectively in other countries. The Redress Agency will administer decisions using a non-adversarial process with determinations based on avoidable harm looking at systemic failings, rather than blaming individuals Separate schemes should be set up for each intervention – HPTs, valproate and pelvic mesh – to meet the cost of providing additional care and support to those who have experienced avoidable harm and are eligible to claim. Networks of specialist centres should be set up to provide comprehensive treatment, care and advice for those affected by implanted mesh; and separately for those adversely affected by medications taken during pregnancy. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) needs substantial revision particularly in relation to adverse event reporting and medical device regulation. It needs to ensure that it engages more with patients and their outcomes. It needs to raise awareness of its public protection roles and to ensure that patients have an integral role in its work. A central patient-identifiable database should be created by collecting key details of the implantation of all devices at the time of the operation. This can then be linked to specifically created registers to research and audit the outcomes both in terms of the device safety and patient reported outcomes measures. Transparency of payments made to clinicians needs to improve. The register of the General Medical Council (GMC) should be expanded to include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all doctors, as well as doctors’ particular clinical interests and their recognised and accredited specialisms. In addition, there should be mandatory reporting for pharmaceutical and medical device industries of payments made to teaching hospitals, research institutions and individual clinicians. The Government should immediately set up a task force to implement this Review’s recommendations. Its first task should be to set out a timeline for their implementation. Response from Patient Safety Learning Patient Safety Learning welcomes the publication of the First Do No Harm report today from the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review. The Chair of the review, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, highlighted in this that they found the healthcare system to be "disjointed, siloed, unresponsive and defensive" to the patients effected by these issues. She also noted that: ‘The system is not good enough at spotting trends in practice and outcomes that give rise to safety concerns. Listening to patients is pivotal to that’ The report highlighted some key themes consistent with other major patient safety failures: Patients not being engaged in their care: Lacking the information required to make informed choices, awareness of how to report problems and their experiences not being recognised. Ineffective reporting: Data not being utilised to identify and address patient safety issues. Existing reporting systems not being effective enough to capture this information and share learning widely. Blame culture: Persistent failure to acknowledge when things go wrong for fear of blame, reducing the ability to address threats to patient safety. Patient Safety Learning considers that 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.
  9. News Article
    Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned ministers not to let the Cumberlege review “gather dust on a shelf”. The chair of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee told The Independent it was vital action was taken to implement the recommendations. Mr Hunt, who made patient safety a key focus of his tenure as health secretary, backed the idea of an independent patient safety commissioner that would be outside the NHS and have powers to advocate for patient issues. Mr Hunt said: “This report should be a powerful wake-up call that our healthcare system is still too closed, defensive and focused on blame rather than learning lessons. It’s truly harrowing to hear of all the women and families who live with permanent anguish because of these medicines and devices, and it has clearly taken too long for their voices to be heard.” “The NHS is one of the safest health systems in the world, and we’re all rightly in awe of our frontline heroes. But in healthcare getting it right ‘most’ times isn’t good enough because the exceptions wreak lifelong devastation on families. So we must not allow this seminal report to gather dust on a shelf: lessons must be learnt once and for all.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 July 2020
  10. News Article
    Many lives have been ruined because officials failed to hear the concerns of women given drugs and procedures that caused them or their babies considerable harm, says a review. More than 700 women and their families shared "harrowing" details about vaginal mesh, Primodos and an epilepsy drug called sodium valproate. Too often worries and complaints were dismissed as "women's problems". It says arrogant attitudes left women traumatised, intimidated and confused. June Wray, 73 and from Newcastle, experienced chronic pain after having a vaginal mesh procedure in 2009. "Sometimes the pain is so severe, I feel like I will pass out. But when I told GPs and surgeons, they didn't believe me. They just looked at me like I was mad." The chairwoman of the highly critical review, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, said the families affected deserved a fulsome apology from the government. She said: "I have conducted many reviews and inquiries over the years, but I have never encountered anything like this; the intensity of suffering experienced by so many families, and the fact that they have endured it for decades. Much of this suffering was entirely avoidable, caused and compounded by failings in the health system itself." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 July 2020
  11. News Article
    The leader of the Morecambe Bay inquiry has spoken of his disappointment that some of the recommendations have not led to changes, and said royal colleges could inform regulators when they are commissioned to carry out care quality reviews. Bill Kirkup was speaking after HSJ revealed only a small proportion of royal college “invited reviews” were made public, and in some cases even the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had not been made aware of the reviews, or seen final reports. Trusts had commissioned dozens of them into care failings over three years. The inquiry which he chaired into maternity services at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust recommended that all external reviews of suspected service failings should be registered with the CQC and that NHS boards should have a duty to report their findings “openly”. The recommendations of the inquiry were accepted by both the government and the CQC. HSJ used freedom of information law to get copies of reports from recent years, but in many cases trusts refused to share them. Dr Kirkup, who stressd his comments did not refer to any individidual trust, said the findings highlighted a weakness in implementation of “an important recommendation”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 3 July 2020
  12. Content Article
    The charities have put together a 12-point plan across the two phases of the pandemic that NHS England are planning for, restoration (phase II) and recovery (phase III). Across all of these recommendations close monitoring and adequate action is needed to ensure inequalities are addressed. In addition, they have set out plans to get the significant transformation agenda for June 2020 cancer services back on track, as simply restoring to pre-COVID-19 levels and models of service is not sufficient to deliver the improved outcomes that patients in this country expect and deserve. Keeping baseline services running. Covid-protected environments. Diagnosis and referrals. Personalised care. Clinical trials. Supporting the vulnerable. Preventing cancer. Workforce. Screening programmes. Guidance. Innovation. Long-term ambitions.
  13. News Article
    The NHS has kept secret dozens of external reviews of failings in local services – covering possible premature deaths, unnecessary and harmful operations, and rows among doctors putting patients at risk – an HSJ investigation has found. At least 70 external reviews by medical royal colleges were carried out from 2016 to 2019, across 47 trusts, according to information provided by NHS trusts, but more than 60 of these have never been published – contrary to national guidance – while several have not even been shared with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other regulators. These include reviews which uncovered serious failings. Bill Kirkup’s review into the Morecambe Bay scandal in 2015 recommended trusts should “report openly” all external investigations into clinical services, governance or other aspects of their operations, including notifying the CQC. Since then the CQC has asked trusts for details of external reviews when it reviews evidence, and in July 2018 it began to ask for copies of their final reports, but HSJ’s research suggests this does not always happen. James Titcombe, the patient safety campaigner whose son’s death led to the inquiry by Bill Kirkup into the Morecambe Bay maternity care scandal, said a review was now needed of whether its recommendations had been implemented. “It is not acceptable that five years [on], there are still secretive royal college reports and patients are kept in the dark,” he said. Read full story Source: HSJ, 25 June 2020
  14. Content Article
    Practical guidance on the application of human factors in the investigation process is presented. Nine principles for incorporating human factors into learning investigations are identified: 1. Be prepared to accept a broad range of types and standards of evidence. 2. Seek opportunities for learning beyond actual loss events. 3. Avoid searching for blame. 4. Adopt a systems approach. 5. Identify and understand both the situational and contextual factors associated with the event. 6. Recognise the potential for difference between the way work is imagined and the way work is actually done. 7. Accept that learning means changing. 8. Understand that learning will only be enduring if change is embedded in a culture of learning and continuous improvement. 9. Do not confuse recommendations with solutions.
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