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Found 218 results
  1. Content Article
    In the early days of my career, I worked with clinical teams while managing a hospital and later a network of hospitals. I must say, the experience I gathered in these different roles shaped me into what I am today. I can fit into healthcare conversations easily because of these early relationships and interactions with clinical experts. When I look back to my experience as a hospital administrator, a particular incident keeps coming back to mind; I sometimes link this to my later involvement in patient safety but most times I feel it is my conscience speaking to me. There was a patient we were trying to give a surgical intervention to; although he was already in a bad condition, he stood a chance to survive yet he died. We had an antenatal case we had managed from conception and the lady had opted for an elective caesarean section (CS). When she was term, we brought her in and prepared her for the theatre. At the time set of the surgery, our anaesthetist was not available; he was assisting another surgery in another facility, but he gave us a name of his anaesthetist colleague we could use for this patient. We brought this new anaesthetist in to assist in the patient’s CS. While we stretchered in the lady for her elective CS, a severe emergency case was rushed in needing an urgent surgical intervention. This case obviously had to override the elective CS in order of triage. We returned the lady to her ward while we rushed to the emergency case. The medical team that was going to operate on the CS patient was now needed for this new case. About 20 minutes into the surgery, our lead surgeon came out of the theatre with an upset look on his face. I sensed something was wrong and I immediately led him into my office which was near to the theatre and locked the door. I asked him what happened? He told me that there had been an anaesthesia accident. The new anaesthetist we brought in to assist with the surgery had not understood our anaesthetic machine as he had never used it before. He had used the machine incorrectly and had given the patient an overdose of gas and the patient’s heart packed up. The lead surgeon was very upset. I was thinking, this could have been my Dad, my Mum or any of my family members; it was a totally life-changing experience for me. The relatives of the patient were notified that the patient had died; there was wailing and shouting in the hospital. I locked myself inside my office and cried because I knew this patient should not have died from an error of one man. I imagined the pain we had caused the family; the grief and the vacuum we created by our error. It was all too much horror for my fragile heart to deal with at that time. But the greatest mistake we made was that the error was never discussed among the team for us all to learn from and we were also not honest enough to own up to the patient’s relatives. This incident led me into researching and reading materials on medical safety and this was how I got into patient safety advocacy. But when I look back at the incident today, was it the anaesthetist’s fault? No not at all; it was the fault of the system. The anaesthetist should not have been allowed access to that machine in the first place as he had not been trained to use that machine. This was where we should have trapped the risk before it got to the patient. In safety, when you change or replace a machine or a piece of equipment your policy must be reviewed to capture the new equipment and users must be trained on the new machine in its specifications and peculiarities. This is what happens in aviation. A pilot cannot fly an aircraft which he has not been simulated to fly and this is one of the reasons why aviation is still one of the safest sectors in the world today.[1] Having established that it was a system error, we should have also been professional and honest enough to let the relatives of the patient know what had actually happened. When we are honest it shows clear transparency, but when we try to sweep things under the carpet it is mostly misunderstood that our actions could have been deliberate. As I am writing this article, I am sure the relatives of the patient, many years down the line, still don’t know what actually happened. Following the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) processes,[2] we should have made an early and honest disclosure of the adverse event known to the patient’s relatives, offered them an apology, refunded their payment and let them know how much this mattered to us and what we were going to do to improve our system. Our actions totally contravened all required amicable and fair resolution for the patient’s family. Owing to the fact that every man is fallible – this is why we are mere mortals in the first place – there may be errors but losing the opportunity to learn from those errors is deliberately creating new levels of errors. We never discussed what happened to our patient. I was the only one who got to know about this incident outside the clinical team who were in the theatre when this happened. The Medical Director may not have even known, so the case was never discussed and we could never all learn from it. When I think of this, I feel we need more openness and information sharing in healthcare, allow teams to discuss and share experiences, give room for reporting without blame, design a system that encourages patient safety conversation and liberalise communication processes. Each time this incident crosses my mind, I think of the lady who we had originally booked for elective CS. This clinical team was put together for her CS before the sudden emergency that came to take her place. She never knew what happened. The evening of that same day her CS was done and she had her baby boy who should be a grown man now. This brings to mind the bible verse Isaiah 43.4 “…I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life”. Could this have been what happened? No, the system is what killed the patient and I think we should all own up to this. References Kai-Jorg S. Pilot training: What can surgeons learn from it? Arab Journal of Urology 2014;1: 32-35. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR).
  2. News Article
    Hundreds of senior midwives are to be given new training to help improve culture and leadership across 126 NHS trusts. Patient safety minister Nadine Dorries said a new £500,000 maternity leadership programme would be rolled out later this year aimed at giving senior staff running maternity wards the skills and knowledge they need to boost culture and safety. Its one step towards improving the working relationships between midwives and obstetricians and follows the damning report by the Ockenden inquiry into decades of poor care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust. The report, published last month, highlighted leadership on maternity wards as a key factor in cases at the trust which led to preventable baby deaths and cases of neglect over many years. Announcing the fund, Nadine Dorries said: “The shocking and tragic findings of the Ockenden Review highlighted the importance of strengthening maternity leadership and oversight as well as fostering more collaborative approaches within maternity and neonatal services. “I’m pleased to announce a new training programme for NHS maternity leaders, which will empower nurses, midwives and obstetricians to get the best out of their teams, and deliver safe, world-class care to mothers and their babies.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 January 2021 Government press release
  3. Content Article
    The CQC strategy is built on four themes that together determine the changes they want to make. Running through each theme is CQC's ambition to improve people’s care by looking at how well health and care systems are working and how they’re acting to reduce inequalities. It is not enough to look at how one service operates in isolation. It is how services work together that has a real impact on people’s experiences and outcomes. The four themes in our draft strategy are: People and communities: CQC want their regulations to be driven by people’s experiences and what they expect and need from health and care services. They'll focus on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services. Smarter regulation: CQC want their assessments to be more flexible and dynamic. They'll be updating ratings more often, so everybody has an up-to-date view of quality. Being smarter with data means our visits will be more targeted, with a sharper focus on what they need to look at. Safety through learning: CQC want all services to have stronger safety cultures. They’ll expect learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety doesn’t improve, and services don’t learn lessons, CQC will take action to protect people. Accelerating improvement: CQC want to do more to make improvement happen. They’ll target the priority areas that need support the most. They want to see improvement within individual services, and in the way they work together as a system to make sure people get the care they need. You can read the full strategy in the link below where you will find an online form to respond. Responses by 5.00pm on Thursday 4 March 2021.
  4. Event
    This virtual masterclass, facilitated by Mr Perbinder Grewal, will focus on patient safety and how to setup a proactive safety culture. It will look at what patient safety is and how to setup and improve the safety culture. It will look at Human Factors and how to mitigate some of the common errors. Can we have a system with zero patient safety incidents or errors? Further information and book your place or email kate@hc-uk.org.uk hub members receive 10% discount. Email info@pslhub.org for code
  5. Content Article
    Bullying and scapegoating ride on the back of fear: When things go wrong or have an outcome that we were not anticipating different aspects of second victim phenomenon kick in, such as shame, guilt and fear. It is terrifying to fear for the loss of one’s professional registration or to be recognised as the care worker who damaged the reputation of your organisation. Quite apart from the pain and accompanying worry of knowing that you may have brought harm to your patient. Encouraging openness and honesty, permits emotional healing, supports staff retention and reduces the number of safety incidents. Emotional healing rides on the back of openness and honesty: In order to move on from a safety incident, it is essential to be truthful. Recognise that peoples’ perceptions of an incident are subjective and may differ from your own. Perceptions often germinate during a time of chaos. Refrain from judging, instead focus on your own personal recovery. Draw strength and comfort from your courage to speak the truth as you perceive it. No such thing as a Never Event: The use of the term ‘Never Event’, increases feelings of guilt and shame for those of us unfortunate enough to be associated with a safety incident. We are, at the end of the day, human beings working within a system of systems. There can never be such a thing as a Never Event. The term second victim is out dated: It degrades the trust that patients and families place in us as care givers. I suggest the term PIAE as an alternative. People In Adverse Events. Not all PIAEs will be involved in a review process. The majority won’t. Sometimes simply seeing something is sufficient to cause psychological trauma for a care worker. All PIAEs should have access to tiered emotional support. This is my challenge to the NHS. Finally the biggest challenge I faced on my amazing journey, was helping people to understand that PIAE support is not competing with other support initiatives. It is a specialised area, providing timely, empathetic, non-judgmental support by trained Listeners, for a specific group of people, namely PIAEs. Read Carol Menashy's other blogs on SISOS: Part one Part two Part three Part four
  6. News Article
    Women in a newly opened psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) had concerns for their sexual safety, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report has revealed. Inspectors found women in the PICU at Cygnet Health Care’s Godden Green Hospital, in Kent, were afraid to shower because male staff did not always knock before entering bedrooms and staff entered bathrooms without permission. Patients were often looked after by male staff despite having asked for a female staff member and, in some cases, had an all-male care team. Most patients the inspectors spoke to had concerns about their sexual safety. The CQC carried out an unannounced inspection of the PICU in October, following concerns raised by members of the public and to check concerns identified in an earlier inspection of the hospital’s child and adolescent mental health services were not organisational. The PICU opened in November 2019. Since the summer, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust has commissioned some of the beds, but HSJ understands it stopped admissions for a time to review the care being provided. Inspectors found records referred to PICU patients as “difficult” and “troublemakers” and warned a ”culture of negativity towards patients had developed among some staff”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 December 2020
  7. News Article
    Trusts have been urged to reflect on their disciplinary procedures, and review them annually where required, following the death of a senior nurse who took his own life after being dismissed. NHS England’s chief people officer Prerana Issar has written to trust leaders to highlight Imperial College Healthcare Trust’s new disciplinary procedures, which were put in place following Amin Abdullah’s suicide. Mr Abdullah, a senior nurse at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, was suspended in September 2015 before being let go from his job that December. He died in February 2016 after setting himself on fire. An independent investigation criticised both the trust and its staff and concluded he had been “treated unfairly”. The summary report produced by the trust was labelled a “whitewash”, which “served to reassure the trust that it had handled the case with due care and attention”, and the delay of three months between the events and hearing were “troubling”. The report, which also criticised the delays as “excessive” and “weak” in their justification, said Mr Abdullah found the delay “stressful” and caused him to become “distressed”. In the letter sent on Tuesday, seen by HSJ, Ms Issar said: “The shared learning from Amin’s experience has demonstrated the need for us to work continuously and collaboratively, to ensure that our people practices are inclusive, compassionate and person-centred, with an overriding objective as to the safety and wellbeing of our people… our collective goal is to ensure we enable a fair and compassionate culture in our NHS. I urge you to honestly reflect on your organisation’s disciplinary procedure…" Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 3 December 2020
  8. Content Article
    In this study from Timmel et al., CUSP was implemented beginning in February 2008 on an 18-bed surgical floor at an academic medical center to improve patient safety, nurse/physician collaboration, and safety on the unit. This unit admits three to six patients per day from up to eight clinical services. Improvements were observed in safety climate, teamwork climate, and nurse turnover rates on a surgical inpatient unit after implementing a safety programme. As part of the CUSP process, staff described safety hazards and then as a team designed and implemented several interventions. CUSP is sufficiently structured to provide a strategy for health care organizations to improve culture and learn from mistakes, yet is flexible enough for units to focus on risks that they perceive as most important, given their context. Broad use of this program throughout health systems could arguably produce substantial improvements in patient safety.
  9. Event
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    How looking after staff health and well-being contributes to patient safety. "It’s about a work place that’s more respectful, inclusive and open as a means of creating safety”. Martin Bromiley OBE To deliver high-quality care, the NHS needs staff that are healthy, well and at work. A challenge highlighted further by the pandemic. Join the Clinical Human Factors Group (CHFG) for short and lively presentations, questions and panels with: Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Chair of the Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee Suzette Woodward - culture, conditions and values Scott Morrish - the legacy of avoidable harm Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE – speaking up, culture change and well-being Prof. Jill Maben - staff well-being and patient experience Aliya Rehman – NHS Employers - the well-being framework Mark Young – Learning from the rail industry - team dynamics Ed Corbett – Health & Safety Executive – Sustainable health and safety improvement Alice Hartley – Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh – undermining and bullying – the team, individual and the patient Register
  10. Content Article
    This 5 minute video, from MedStar Health, focuses on the human cost to our healthcare workforce when we fail to cultivate a just culture and systems approach overall, but especially when managing unfortunate harm events. This story has inspired conversation and can be used widely as a teaching tool. When patient harm occurs, caregivers involved are often devastated along with the patient and family, yet many have had to navigate this storm alone. A systems approach in our healthcare workplace, along with the just culture, cultivates the sharing of knowledge and helps prevent patient harm from occurring altogether. If you'd like to share your thoughts on Annie's Story, the systems approach and building a just culture, please comment below or join the conversation in our forum – Analysing events without blame or shame.
  11. Content Article
    A is for... Anonymity and Antibullying B is for...BAME Workers, Barriers C is for Compassion, Civility Saves Lives and Courage D is for... Doctors, Dentists and Data. E is for... Everyone, Ethics and Empathy F is for... Feedback and Forgiveness G is for... Growth Mindset, Guardians and General Practice H is for... HR and Helping one another to speak up I is for... Impartiality and Integrity J is for... Just and Learning Culture K is for...Kindness L is for...Leadership, Learning (1) and Learning (2) M is for... Model Hospital, Matters and Midwives N is for... Nurses O is for... Ombudsmen P is for...Patients and People Q is for... Questions R is for... Retaliation Research and Right Thing to Do and Regional Integration S is for... System-Wide Support and Safer Systems and Speaking up for Patient Safety and Safety and Speaking Up T is for... Trainees and Trust U is for... Understanding and Uniting V is for... Volunteers and 100 Voices and Voice W is for... WRES experts and Whistleblowing and Workers X is for... Xenophobia Y is for... You Said, We Did Z is for... Zeitgeist Follow the link below to hear more about Speak Up Month from Dr Henrietta Hughes, National Guardian for the NHS.
  12. Content Article
    According to the responses we received, the four themes that became most obvious - the four things you think staff most need to be safe - are: Compassionate leaders and role models who prioritise their staff’s wellbeing A respectful, supportive team with good communication and united by a common purpose A safe and just culture that invites staff to speak up Psychological safety, protecting staff form burnout
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