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Found 20 results
  1. News Article
    High-risk women at a maternity unit were not monitored closely enough and there was a "lack of learning" from a mother's death, inspectors found. A Care Qualtiy Commission (CQC) report rated the unit at Basildon University Hospital as inadequate with "failings" found in six other serious cases. Inspectors carried out unannounced checks in June after a whistleblower voiced fears about patient safety. The unit was criticised following the deaths of baby Ennis Pecaku in September 2018 and mother Gabriela Pintilie, 36, in February 2019. The CQC previously carried out an inspection of the department the month Mrs Pintilie died and said the unit, which had once been rated outstanding, required improvement. Inspectors returned for the surprise "focused" inspection after being contacted by an anonymous whistleblower. The report found babies were born in a poor condition and then transferred for cooling therapy, which can be offered for newborn babies with brain injury caused by oxygen shortage during birth. During their visit, inspectors found: High-risk women giving birth in a low-risk area. Not enough staff with the right skills and experience. "Dysfunctional" working between midwives, doctors and consultants, which had an impact on the "increased number of safety incidents reported". Concerns over foetal heart monitoring. Women being referred to by room numbers instead of their names. A "lack of response by consultants to emergencies" resulting in delays The CQC also referred to issues relating to the death of Mrs Pintilie, who was not named in the report, and said five serious incidents "identified the same failings of care". Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 August 2020 "This demonstrated there had been a lack of learning from previous incidents and actions put in place were not embedded."
  2. News Article
    The NHS 111 helpline for urgent medical care is facing calls for an investigation after poor decision-making was linked to more than 20 deaths. Experts say that inexperienced call handlers and the software used to highlight life-threatening emergencies may not always be safe for young children. At least five have died in potentially avoidable incidents. Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “These distressing reports suggest that existing processes did not safeguard the needs of the children in these instances.” Since 2014 coroners have written 15 reports involving NHS 111 to try to prevent further deaths. There have been five other cases where inquests heard of missed chances to save lives by NHS 111 staff; two other cases are continuing and one was subject to an NHS England investigation. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 5 January 2020
  3. Content Article
    The aim of the UK-wide survey was to obtain a snapshot of the structure of, and role-specific training and CPD provision for, the non medical, non-midwifery maternity workforce. The objectives were to: determine the ratio of unregistered staff to registered midwives in the maternity services determine the number of maternity services where nursing associates were employed determine the number of maternity services where registered nurses were employed in areas other than neonatal care determine the areas of work for registered nurses in maternity care gather information about the role-specific training offered to non-midwives at induction and as CPD during employment. This survey is intended to add to the conversation on some aspects of the workforce and skill mix in maternity services. As a result of the findings the following recommendations are made: the opportunity should be created for a stakeholder engagement event to disseminate findings and consider aspects requiring further exploration, which may include: future training needs analysis work to explore role-specific training for non-midwifery staff (registered or unregistered) in maternity services, to clarify what should be provided. to look at utilising these findings in the wider work being carried out within the RCN safe and effective staffing campaign (RCN 2019). Although the RCN campaign is focused on nursing, these survey results may inform work on both midwifery and nursing staffing.
  4. News Article
    Almost half of hospitals have a shortage of specialist stroke consultants, new figures suggest. One charity fears "thousands of lives" will be put at risk unless action is taken, with others facing the threat of a lifelong disability. In 2016, Alison Brown had what is believed to have been at least one minor stroke, but non-specialist doctors at different hospitals repeatedly told her she did not have a serious health condition. One even described it as an ear infection. Ten months later, aged 34, she had a bilateral artery dissection - a common cause of stroke in young people, where a tear in a blood vessel causes a clot that impedes blood supply to the brain. She was admitted to hospital - but again struggled for a diagnosis. A junior doctor found an issue with blood flow to the brain but she says their comments were dismissed and she was told it was a migraine. It was only when she collapsed again, days later, and admitted herself to a hospital with a dedicated stroke ward that a specialist team was able to give her the care she needed. Alison's case highlights the importance of being seen by stroke specialists. However, according to new figures from King's College London's 2018-19 Snapp (Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme) report, 48% of hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have had at least one stroke consultant vacancy for the past 12 months or more. This has risen from 40% in 2016 and 26% in 2014. The Stroke Association charity - which analysed the data - says the UK is "hurtling its way to a major stroke crisis" unless the issue is addressed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 January 2020
  5. News Article
    A coroner has criticised health professionals for failing to give a young woman who died after suffering severe anorexia the support and care she needed. Maria Jakes, 24, died of multiple organ failure in September 2018 after struggling for years with the eating disorder. Coroner Sean Horstead last week concluded that the agencies involved in the Peterborough waitress’s care missed several key opportunities to monitor her illness properly. Mr Horstead said that there had been insufficient record-keeping and a failure to notify eating disorder specialists in the weeks before her death, following treatment at Addenbrooke’s and Peterborough City Hospital. He also criticised the lack of specialist eating disorder dieticians at Addenbrookes and Peterborough hospitals, “together with a nursing team insufficiently trained and knowledgeable of eating disorder patients”, both of which had contributed to the lack of monitoring of Maria. Despite the criticism the father of another anorexia victim, whose death was described in a Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report as an “avoidable tragedy”, has said the inquest failed to properly address or challenge the “lack of care” that Maria received from the NHS. Nic Hart, whose daughter Averil died in 2012 at the age of 19, criticised the inquest as “a very one sided process”. He told The Telegraph: “No real challengers were made of the clinical evidence or indeed of the lack of care that poor Maria received.” Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 21 December 2019
  6. Content Article
    In this five minute video, the authors chose to focus on the main theme – the human cost to healthcare workforce when there is a failure to cultivate a just culture and systems approach overall, but especially when managing unfortunate harm events.
  7. Content Article
    The Heinrich/Bird safety pyramid is presented in an article in Risk Engineering. It includes an infographic with Heinrich's Accident Triangle. This triangle suggests that the ratio between fatal accidents, accidents, injuries and minor incidents are similar across all industries. It highlights the importance of investigating the minor incidents to present fatal incidents. Challenge: In healthcare, are we investigating the wrong incidents?
  8. Content Article
    When would it be useful? This guide supports a conversation between managers about whether a staff member involved in a patient safety incident requires specific individual support or intervention to work safely.
  9. Content Article
    Outstanding models of district nursing explores the elements that need to be in place to support an outstanding District Nursing service. It includes the views and experiences of a wide range of stakeholders including patients, carers, commissioners and GPs. It recommends that the Government and NHS: Urgently increase investment in the District Nursing service to give it the capacity and capability to meet the challenges of the 21st century Maintain the post-qualifying District Nurse Specialist Practice Qualification (DNSPQ), which develops DNs’ professional growth and enhances their clinical skills Develop a strategy to expand commissioners’, providers’ and the public’s understanding and knowledge of the District Nurse role, enabling them to recognise the added value they bring to the local health economy and particularly to the wider Health and Social Care system Develop a standardised data collection system and data set, collecting meaningful data that recognises value for money, promoting a strong economic case for investment in the District Nursing service Develop a standardised approach to the assessment of quality, to measure District Nurse effectiveness in England, providing reliable data, enabling innovation and cost-effective practice to be recognised and disseminated Explore the co-location of District Nursing teams within Primary Care Networks to provide personalised care, continuity of care and enhanced working relationships across primary and community care teams.
  10. Content Article
    This information pack is aimed at healthcare students from any role/sector. It has an array of resources to be downloaded including: an e-learning module on Anti microbial resistance (AMR) shared learning articles from other trusts a video explaining what AMR is a range of blogs leaflets and infographics quizzes.
  11. Content Article
    This webpage includes: an easy read leaflet about STOMP video challenging behaviour resources online medication pathway for family carers resources for healthcare professionals.
  12. Content Article
    Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.
  13. Content Article
    This page is a catalogue of material to support CCGs, GP practices and others to undertake initiatives to support STOMP.
  14. Content Article
    This video by the NHS England STOMP team and service users, explains what STOMP is and what frontline staff need to know.
  15. Content Article
    A few years back, I was a guest speaker at a healthcare quality improvement conference where I was approached by a doctor who said he had come to learn “what all this patient safety stuff is about". He had approached me after my presentation and, with more than a little arrogance in the tone of his voice, stated, “if only the nurses would do their jobs and follow my orders correctly, all of these errors would simply go away!” Hmmm…, a damaged and lost soul! My first reaction was to wonder what kind of slimy rock this chap had crawled out from under. However, rather than get annoyed, an emotion that rarely results in improved communication, I simply mentioned that the most current analysis of injuries resulting from patient safety incidents has revealed that the majority of serious injuries, malpractice claims and settlements result from errors or delays in diagnosis and that, the last time I checked, clinical diagnosis is primarily the purview of doctors not nurses. I figured he might want to continue the conversation, but he simply turned and walked away. The truth hurts and I was left wondering how many patients he had harmed, knowingly or unknowingly, during his career. Blaming others can be an easy out from self-examination. As I thought about this interaction later that evening, putting his insulting arrogance aside, it occurred to me that his complacency about his role as a contributor to the patient safety conundrum, and the challenges of assuring diagnostic accuracy specifically, is probably much more common than many would like to admit. Fortunately, his degree of professional arrogance is generally not the rule among compassionate professionals. Still, there is something to learn from his arrogance and from what he said. Complacency, subtle, unrecognised and perhaps pernicious, can become a malignant force. We are all prone to this. We all know that caring for patients, especially for vulnerable patients, is fraught with hazards. We work in highly complex environments, interacting with innumerable patients and professionals every day, each of whom brings strengths and liabilities into the equation we call healthcare. We all acknowledge that there are deficiencies in the structures and processes of healthcare systems and these numerous deficiencies can contribute to patient harm. Anyone who has spent time working in healthcare settings can point to examples of poor leadership, unsafe and unjust cultures, demand-based management and flawed or inadequate healthcare processes that may adversely affect the provision of care and can degrade professional morale. We have all been there. Well-documented deficiencies in the structures and processes of healthcare certainly encumber those working to actually provide care. Frontline staff working under pressure can and will make mistakes; even in institutions where robust efforts have been made to support staff and specifically improve the working environment on the frontlines, mistakes will still occur. Human beings make mistakes, and even though our processes can be standardised to reduce variability and enhance ease of performance, mistakes still will occur, especially in the domain of diagnostic accuracy where standardisation is not so robust and cognitive insufficiencies and biases abound. Caring for patients is complicated stuff! Healthcare professionals do not get up in the morning intending to harm anyone, but normal human liabilities can impair our performance. Often we do not even recognise our own liabilities or are unaware of the environmental factors that can enhance them. Workplace complexities and associated stressors such as fatigue, hunger, patient volume and acuity complexity can all contribute to distractions in an already task-saturated environment. If we also factor in outside family, social and economic pressures of various kinds, which we rarely leave at home entirely, the stage is often set for mistakes to occur, sometimes very serious mistakes. The aviation industry is an example of a highly reliable industry where safety is paramount and is often held up as a standard of performance to strive for in healthcare. But an A&E unit is a much more complex and relatively uncontrolled environment than the flight deck of an Airbus 320. In my view, the aviation metaphor commonly falls short when compared to healthcare. As a physician who has also worked in the aviation community for part of my career, I feel that although important lessons can be learned and shared from the aviation industry, the aviation environment is not a mirror image of the healthcare environment. Anyone out there ever made a mistake when caring for a patient? I have made many, I suspect, most unknown to me and of little or no consequence to my patients. I did make a more serious mistake once and my patient, a 9-month-old child, was dangerously but not permanently harmed. When oncologists make mistakes, the consequences can be catastrophic as chemotherapy agents are dangerous. The truth is, I was complacent and didn’t see the potential for harm coming right at me; my fault – or at least that was how I viewed things. I became a ‘second’ victim as a result of this incident and it still resonates with me, all these years later. Hospitals with strong committed leadership are attempting to address the challenges that those on the frontlines must face every day, especially in settings such as A&E units, but one cannot simply design out all of the confounders. There are some excellent examples of robust, patient and staff-focused leadership, safe and just cultures and collaborative management, and these should be emulated nationwide. This all brings me back to the arrogant doctor who wanted to blame the nurses for “all this patient safety stuff”, and his inherent failure to recognise his own singular, important role in the patient safety conundrum. I suspect that this is a natural tendency, as healthcare professionals do not ordinarily see themselves as sources of harm, a concept that is counterintuitive to who we think we are and the excellence in care we strive to provide. The fact is that we may all suffer from some degree of professional complacency. We may often fail to recognise environmental and situational risks, and, more importantly, to admit to our own personal liabilities, and, thus, the risks we bring into the healthcare environment. Though we all recognise how complex the provision of healthcare can be, we may not fully appreciate that we are also part of that complexity. Our inability to recognise the often subtle but inherent risks we bring to our patients in all healthcare settings is surely an independent variable in the calculus of providing patient safe care. So, I propose the following for all healthcare professionals – each day, before we enter our hospital or surgery, care home or whatever, please pause and repeat the following mantra: “I am a kind and caring professional about to enter a complex healthcare environment where patients may be harmed every day. I admit to myself that although I always intend to serve my patients as best I can, I also inherently represent a source of risk for them and I may make mistakes that can result in harm. Though I may wish to deflect responsibility onto insufficiencies in structures, processes, leadership, culture, managers and even other colleagues, the fact is that I am also a unique risk to my patients. I will be very careful, every day, in every way, with every patient under my care, all the time; and I will strive to be even better tomorrow.” Read Dan's full length article: Structures, processes and outcomes for better or worse: Personal responsibility in patient safe care
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