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Found 736 results
  1. News Article
    “Frustration with the system was why I went off in the end,” said Conor Calby, 26, a paramedic and Unison rep in southwest England, who was recently off work for a month with burnout. “I felt like I couldn’t do my job and was letting patients down. After a difficult few years it was challenging.” While he usually manages to keep a distinct divide between work and home life, burnout eroded that line. He also lost his sleep pattern and appetite. The final straw came when what should have been a 15-minute call resulted in three hours on the phone trying to persuade the services that were supposed to help a suicidal patient to come out. “I was on a knife edge. That was due to the system being broken. That’s the trigger.” Doctors and nurses are struggling under the strain too. After her third time with burnout - the last resulting in her taking six months off work – Amy Attwater, an A&E doctor, considered leaving the profession altogether. Attwater, 36, said in the Covid crisis, during which a colleague killed himself, she started having suicidal thoughts and doubting her own abilities. She twice reported that she was being bullied but said no action was taken. “The only thing I was left with was to take time off work. I ended up having therapy, seeing a psychiatrist and being on two antidepressants,” said Attwater, the Midlands-based committee member for Doctors’ Association UK. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 5 February 2023
  2. Content Article
    Recommendations Physicians at all stages in their careers need to be conscious of the demands placed on them professionally and personally and should balance those demands with rest to avoid excessive fatigue or overcommitment. The medical directors of outpatient units and chairs of hospital departments of obstetrics and gynaecology may consider developing call schedules and associated policies that balance the need for continuity of care and the health care providers’ need for rest. With the growing concern about the potential consequences of health care provider fatigue on patient safety, physicians should commit to evaluating the effects that fatigue has on their professional and personal lives and should demonstrate willingness to adjust workloads, work hours, and time commitments to avoid fatigue when caring for patients.
  3. News Article
    Thousands of NHS staff across the UK are facing pay cuts because of a change in Covid sickness policy. Analysis by BBC Panorama suggests that between 5,000 and 10,000 NHS workers could be off sick with Long Covid. Unions are accusing the government of failing to support health staff who worked during the coronavirus pandemic. The government says the Covid-19 public inquiry will examine these issues when it begins taking evidence in May. Changes to special sick pay rules introduced during the pandemic mean that some NHS staff unable to work due to Long Covid may soon no longer receive full pay. Enhanced provision ended last year. Many had a six-month transition, so expect their wages to go down soon. Some face losing their jobs. Professor David Strain is the chair of the Board of Science at the British Medical Association (BMA) and says this makes him "genuinely angry". He explains: "We've got a group of people that have put themselves forward to look after the population, they've been left with an illness and they're not being supported. "They're just in a no man's land." He believes that health workers with long Covid should be allowed to focus on their recovery without money worries. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 January 2023
  4. Content Article
    Changes in the way staff work, including staff taking on new roles and responsibilities, is a well-known policy solution in the NHS, and there are some really good instances where skill mix works well and has real benefits. But are there downsides to the drive to employ new types of staff to help doctors and nurses? What are the implications for continuity of care, staff experience and outcomes? Is the idea of ‘top of the licence’ working a reason for concern in terms of burnout, the fragmentation of care or is it an unavoidable response to the workforce crisis? Chair: Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust Prof Alison Leary, Chair of Healthcare and Workforce Modelling, London South Bank University Dr Louella Vaughan, Senior Clinical Fellow, Nuffield Trust
  5. News Article
    A hospital has stopped using gas and air in its maternity unit to "protect our midwifery and medical team". The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, said the decision followed tests on nitrous oxide levels. It said it would temporarily suspend the use of Entonox while additional safety equipment was installed. Giuseppe Labriola, director of midwifery, said: "There is no risk to mothers, birthing people, their partners and babies." Other hospitals have previously temporarily suspended the use of gas and air in recent months including Basildon and Ipswich. Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 January 2023
  6. News Article
    Patients and staff are in danger as regulators are accused of poor handling of sexual assault allegations made against doctors and nurses, The Independent has been told. Campaigners and frontline staff who spoke to The Independent warned that professional regulators are not dealing adequately with allegations of sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence. A study of rulings by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has also revealed that male nurses account for 80% of striking-off orders relating to sexual assault allegations, despite only making up 11% of the register. The warning comes after horrific details of rape and abuse by police officer David Carrick were uncovered this week. Dr Rebecca Cox, who helped sparked a major #MeToo movement in medicine and is co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign group, told The Independent: “There are great similarities, in the recent cases of prolific sexual harassment and assault, between the Met Police and the NHS. “As an organisation, we have had multiple healthcare professionals contacting us desperate to seek support after facing repeated barriers when trying to report harassment and assault to their employing NHS organisation and regulators such as the GMC. “Victims find their cases ignored or dropped without good reason, and perpetrators being able to continue working without repercussions. We need a public inquiry into sexism, sexual harassment and sexual assault in healthcare.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 January 2023 You may also be interested in: Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign
  7. News Article
    Two in five GPs are facing verbal abuse every single day, a new poll suggests. Some 74% of family doctors have claimed they or their staff have experienced verbal abuse on a weekly basis, including almost 40% who say it occurs daily, according to the survey conducted by GP publication Pulse. And 45% said practice staff experience physical abuse every year, according to the poll of 1000 GPs. As well as facing abuse in GP surgeries, a third reported practice staff have faced abuse on social media on a weekly basis. The Royal College of GPs described the survey findings as deeply disturbing. One GP told the journal: "Last week a patient, without any mitigating circumstances, was desperately abusive to one of my receptionists bemoaning the fact it wasn’t the US where she could buy a gun and 'sort us all out'. "Primary care seems to be bearing the brunt and blamed by all and sundry for the current issues and the public are picking up on this." Read full story Source: Medscape, 19 January 2023
  8. Content Article
    At Patient Safety Learning we seek to harness the knowledge, insights, enthusiasm and commitment of health and social care organisations, professionals and patients for system-wide change and the reduction of avoidable harm. The scale of this challenge remains immense. Each year, millions of patients suffer injuries or die because of avoidable harm in healthcare. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that in high-income countries 1 in every 10 patients is harmed when receiving hospital care.[1] In the UK, the NHS pre-Covid estimate was that there were around 11,000 avoidable deaths annually due to safety concerns, with thousands more patients seriously harmed.[2] In 2022 we have seen positive new patient safety initiatives, such as the launch of the NHS Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF), the creation of a Patient Safety Commissioner for England and efforts to increase awareness of medication safety issues as part of this year’s World Patient Safety Day. However, much more work is needed to tackle the complex systemic causes that result in the persistence of avoidable harm in health and social care. More inquiries, but are lessons being learnt? This year we have seen two new major reports that detail more shocking cases of avoidable harm in maternal and neonatal care in the NHS. In March the Independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust published its final report, which made a range of recommendations for improving care and safety in maternity services across England.[3] Subsequently, in October the report of the investigation into maternity and neonatal services at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust was published, revealing a series of serious patient safety failings at the Trust between 2009-2020.[4] Added to this, there is now an ongoing review into maternity services in Nottingham, which could prove to be the largest maternity scandal to date, exceeding 1,500 cases.[5] The findings of these inquiries echo concerns highlighted in many reports in the last decade. Time and time again we see the same themes emerging – the failure to listen to patients; a corrosive blame culture and the lack of an effective regulation and organisational leadership and governance.[6] At Patient Safety Learning, we believe that the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England need to recognise these system-wide issues and consider them in their wider context – not simply issue individual responses to each new report with a commitment to ‘learn lessons’. There also needs to be a more rigorous approach to ensuring that the recommendations of these inquiries and reviews are implemented. In our report ‘Mind the implementation gap’, published earlier this year, we make the case that there needs to be transparent performance monitoring of the implementation of recommendations to ensure that these actions are translated into evidenced patient safety improvement.[7] Implementing the NHS Patient Safety Strategy NHS England has initiated a number of new activities in 2022 as it continues to implement the NHS Patient Safety Strategy. The most noteworthy has been the publication of detailed guidance for the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF). PSIRF sets out the NHS’s new approach to developing and maintaining effective systems and processes for the purpose of learning from patient safety incidents. All organisations are expected to transition to this by Autumn 2023. This is a potentially very significant change in approach and culture and over the past 12 months we have shared a range of resources in relation to this, including: Patient Safety Management Network discussions about the new systems-based approaches to learning. Examples of the application PSIRF, such as in relation to pressure ulcers. An interview with Tracey Herlihey, Head of Patient Safety Incident Response Policy at NHS England. There has also been ongoing work to develop and rollout the Learn From Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) service, a new national incident reporting system for the NHS. In the latter half of this year, specialist staff working in patient safety and local risk management system leads have raised with us concerns about the development and implementation of LFPSE. Many have said that they did not feel they were being listened to and we have supported them in highlighting their concerns with NHS England. Subsequently, in recognition of these concerns, there has been changes made to the taxonomy requirements for the new system and an extension of the implementation deadline from March to September 2023. July 2023 marks four years since the publication of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy. Over the next year we will be looking more closely at the implementation of this to date, considering where progress has been made and where improvement is required. Highlighting topical patient safety issues Over the course of the past year, we have continued to use the hub to share learning and campaign for improvements in patient safety. Throughout the year we have continued to highlight topical patient safety issues, both directly and through shining a light on the work of others, including: Kath Sansom highlighting 10 problems with NHS England’s specialist mesh centres. The risks posed to patient safety by rejected GP referrals for investigations and outpatient treatment. The Surviving in Scrubs campaign to call out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare. Concerns about the ability of staff to speak up on patient safety concerns, reflected in the results of this year's NHS Staff Survey. Hope Virgo pointing to the need to confront barriers to accessing support in the healthcare system for people with eating disorders. A doctor examining the link between Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease. Keith Conradi setting out why healthcare needs to operate as a safety management system. We also launched our Patient Safety Spotlight interview series this year, interviewing staff and patients working to improve patient safety, about their role and what motivates them. You can read all the interviews so far on the hub. Safety for All campaign Patient Safety Learning has been working in partnership with the Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network on several different activities in 2022 as part of the Safety for All campaign. This campaign highlights how poor staff safety standards and practice impact adversely on patient safety and vice versa. It promotes the need for a systematic and integrated approach to improve safety practice for staff and patients across the health and social care so that the sum is greater than the parts. As part of this we have: Published the report ‘Mind the implementation gap: The persistence of avoidable harm in the NHS’, which calls for system-wide action in healthcare to transform our approach to learning and improvement. Held a Parliamentary reception on the 29 June, hosted by Dean Russell MP, where we launched a new good practice support guide for staff involved in serious safety incidents. Held a Conference on 7 December at the Royal College of Physicians with a range of panel sessions and speakers, including the new Patient Safety Commissioner for England, Dr Henrietta Hughes. We will be sharing resources from our recent Conference and undertaking more work as part of this campaign in the new year. Patient safety standards We consider that one of the primary reasons for the persistence of avoidable harm is that healthcare does not have or apply standards for patient safety in the way that it does for other safety issues. The standards it does have are insufficient and inconsistent. We believe that by adopting and implementing comprehensive patient safety standards, organisations will be able to deliver safer care and embed a commitment to patient safety throughout their work. This would also enable patients, leaders, clinicians, the wider public and regulators to assess their progress and performance in improving patient safety. Based on our original research and policy document ‘A Blueprint for Action’, Patient Safety Learning has developed a set of unique patient safety standards centred around seven key foundations for patient safety:[8] Leadership and governance Culture Shared learning Professionalisation of patient safety Patient engagement Data and insight Delivery of patient safety services. The seven foundations are supported by 26 specific patient safety aims. In total, there are 144 identified standards, based on 20 years of research, as well as learning from inquiries, policy, and good practice from healthcare. This year we have begun working with several organisations to implement these standards as part of their organisational safety improvement strategies and will be taking this work forward in the new year. You can read more about our patient safety standards on our website. Continued growth of the hub This October the hub, our free award-winning platform for patient safety, officially turned three years old. To date, the hub has received over 565,000 visits and had over 1.1 million page views. It now has over 3,300 members from 80 countries working in over 1,000 different organisations, and offers 7,500 knowledge resources, viewed by people from 221 countries. In addition to the rich content of patient safety topics, some of which we mentioned earlier in the blog, this year we have also seen significant growth in our community networks. The Patient Safety Management Network – an informal voluntary network created by and for patient safety managers – continues to go from strength to strength, providing a weekly drop-in session with guests to talk through issues of importance, offering peer support and creating a safe space for discussion. This now has over 800 members. the hub also now hosts the National NatSSIPs Network, a group of over 400 UK healthcare professionals involved in the implementation of NatSSIPs/LocSSIPs in their organisation. If you are interested in joining one of the networks or would like to set up your own network on the hub, please do get in touch at info@pslhub.org. Looking forward to 2023 This has been another seriously challenging year in health and social care. While many of the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have been scaled back, infections from the disease remain a serious issue and healthcare systems across the world are continuing to deal with the strains and pressures both created and exacerbated by the pandemic. Going into the new year we will continue to be an independent voice speaking up for patient safety and seek to work in partnership with others to share learning and create safer healthcare. References WHO, 10 facts on patient safety, 26 August 2019. NHS England, The NHS Patient Safety Strategy: Safer culture, safer systems, safer patients, July 2019. Independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Ockenden Report: Findings, conclusions and essential actions from the independent review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, 30 March 2022. Independent Investigation into East Kent Maternity Services, Maternity and neonatal services in East Kent – the Report of the Independent Investigation, 19 October 2022. The Independent, NHS could face biggest maternity scandal ever as Nottingham probe expected to exceed 1,500 cases, 30 November 2022. Patient Safety Learning, Will lessons be learned? An analysis of systemic failures in the East Kent maternity report, 17 November 2022. Patient Safety Learning, Mind the implementation gap: The persistence of avoidable harm in the NHS, April 2022. Patient Safety Learning, The Patient-Safe Future: A Blueprint for Action, 2019.
  9. Content Article
    Eight steps toward creating more psychological safety at work Make psychological safety an explicit priority. Facilitate everyone speaking up. Establish norms for how failure is handled. Create space for new ideas (even wild ones) Embrace productive conflict Pay close attention and look for patterns Make an intentional effort to promote dialogue Celebrate wins