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Found 44 results
  1. Community Post
    It's #SpeakUpMonth in the #NHS so why isn't the National Guardian Office using the word whistleblowing? After all it was the Francis Review into whistleblowing that led to the recommendation for Speak Up Guardians. I believe that if we don't talk about it openly and use the word 'WHISTLEBLOWING' we will be unable to learn and change. Whistleblowing isn’t a problem to be solved or managed, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. So many genuine healthcare whistleblowers seem to be excluded from contributing to the debate, and yes not all those who claim to be whistleblowers are genuine. The more we move away for labelling and stereotyping, and look at what's happening from all angles, the more we will learn. Regardless of our position, role or perceived status, we all need to address this much more openly and explicitly, in a spirit of truth and with a genuine desire to learn and change.
  2. Community Post
    I've been posting advice to patients advising them to personally follow up on referrals. Good advice I believe, which could save lives. I'm interested in people's views on this. This is the message I'm sharing: **Important message for patients relating to clinical referrals in England** We need a specific effort to ensure ALL referrals are followed up. Some are getting 'lost'. I urge all patients to check your referral has been received, ensure your GP and the clinical team you have been referred to have the referral. Make sure you have a copy yourself too. Things are difficult and we accept there are waits. Having information on the progress of your referral, and an assurance that is is being clinically prioritised is vital. If patients are fully informed and assured of the progress of their referrals in real-time it could save time and effort in fielding enquiries and prevent them going missing or 'falling into a black hole', which is a reality for some people. It would also prevent clinical priorities being missed. Maybe this is happening, and patients are being kept fully informed in real-time of the progress of their referrals. It would be good to hear examples of best practice.
  3. News Article
    An NHS trust is to appear in court today charged with breaking the law on being open and transparent after a woman’s death in the first ever court case of its kind. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has brought a criminal prosecution against University Hospitals Plymouth Trust which will appear at Plymouth Magistrates Court tomorrow morning. The trust is charged with breaching the duty of candour regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 which require hospitals to be honest with families and patients after a safety incident or error in their care. Hospitals are legally required to notify patients or families and investigate what has happened and communicate the findings to families and offer an apology. The case relates to how the Plymouth trust communicated with a woman’s family after her death which happened after she underwent an endoscopy procedure at Derriford Hospital in December 2017. The trust was required by law to communicate in an open and transparent way. The CQC has accused the trust of failing to do this. Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 September 2020
  4. Content Article
    In July, the PHSO submitted a report to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee exploring the state of local complaints handling across the NHS and UK Government Departments. Drawing on evidence from a wide range of individuals and organisations, Making Complaints Count identified three core weaknesses in the existing complaints system: There is no single vision for how staff are expected to handle and resolve complaints. Staff do not get consistent access to complaints handling training. Public bodies too often see complaints negatively, not as a learning tool that can be used to improve service.[1] The PHSO stated in this report its intention to consult on a new Complaint Standards Framework for the NHS, aiming to “help create a stronger culture in which complaints are genuinely learned from”.[2] Patient Safety Learning believes that having an effective complaints process in healthcare is vital to improving patient safety, and in this blog we will set out our response to the consultation on this new Framework. Complaints: an untapped patient safety resource Too often complaints processes in healthcare are viewed in a negative light and patients and their families are not recognised as being a “primary source of learning for safety”.[3] Having an effective complaints system provides an important opportunity to learn from incidents of unsafe care. Patients experiences can be used to help identify patient safety problems, ascertain the causes of these issues and put in place remedial measures to prevent them from recurring. The absence of an effective system has often been cited in patient safety scandals as contributing towards the persistence of unsafe care. Robert Francis identified this in the Public Inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, noting that complaints “were not given a high enough priority in identifying issues and learning lessons”.[4] More recently, the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review stated that the current complaints system is “both too complex and too diffuse” to promptly identify safety issues arising from a medication or device.[5] It has also been long acknowledged that the complaints system in the NHS requires significant improvements, in terms of both the processes and finding an effective way of learning from complaints to bring about improvements. In the wake of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, a review of NHS hospital complaints, co-chaired by Ann Clwyd MP and Tricia Hart, made a number of recommendations for change in complaints handling and procedures.[6] More recently, a report from Healthwatch England which focused on how hospitals report on and communicate their work on complaints highlighted concerns about inconsistency in reporting and a focus on counting complaints rather than learning from them.[7] The consultation process for the PHSO’s Complaint Standards Framework was composed of a survey with several questions and a section in which to add any additional comments. Below is the response provided by Patient Safety Learning in the additional comments section. Consultation response Patient Safety Learning welcomes the PHSO’s Complaint Standards Framework and its recognition of the need to reform the NHS complaints system. From a perspective of making improvements for patient safety, we welcome: The statement that organisations should “have clear processes in place to show how they capture learning from complaints, report on it, and use it to improve services”. Its acknowledgement of the importance of sharing learning and complaints widely with other organisations in healthcare. The identification of the need for clear complaints governance structures, ensuring the feedback is regularly reviewed by staff at a senior level. Its recognition that an effective complaints system is intrinsically linked with promoting a Just Culture in healthcare, one that is less focused on blame and encourages transparency and accountability when mistakes occur. Implementation We note that this Framework is focused on providing “a shared vision for NHS complaints handling” rather than looking in more detail at how this would be put into practice.[8] While we welcome many of the aspirations set out in this, its implementation will ultimately determine its effectiveness in reforming the NHS complaints system. Too often, there exists a gap between learning and implementation in healthcare. We may know what improves patient safety, but in practice such measures can often remain siloed in specific organisations, resulting in patients continuing to experience harm from problems that have already been addressed. If this Framework is to create a more effective complaints process, one which contributes to improving patient safety, we feel that there are several issues that will need to be addressed prior to its implementation: It will need to be clear how organisations report on their progress in implementing the Framework. There will need to be guidance on how organisations report on their implementation of the Framework and a level of transparency and consistency to allow for monitoring and comparison. It needs to be made clear who is responsible for ensuring that organisations will design this approach to complaints into their governance structures. There is also the question of how this change will be monitored. In the consultation survey, the PHSO pose a question related to this, asking whether they “should be given legislative powers to set and enforce national complaint standards for the organisations it investigates”. At Patient Safety Learning, we think that it is vital that this process is monitored. However, we question whether the PHSO, specifically, can do this, in terms of whether it has both the legislative remit and the resources for this undertaking. In practice, we suggest that this role would sit better within the remit of the Care Quality Commission and its existing inspections regime. We feel this issue needs further consideration. Public reporting As mentioned previously, we believe a key question that needs to be addressed before implementing the Framework is how it will be reported on by organisations, and whether reporting will be consistent to allow for monitoring and comparison. A recent report from Healthwatch earlier this year looking at hospital complaints highlighted the difficulties around this. It noted significant variations amongst different hospitals regarding how they reported on complaints (in terms of the data provided publicly) and, in some cases, whether they did actually report on these complaints.[7] It stated “because the regulations don’t require trusts to publish their annual complaint reports, we can’t know for sure how many of them are fully compliant with the regulations”.[9] Achieving the goals of the Framework may encounter similar challenges, not providing clear indications of how its suggestions should be implemented. For example, the Framework states that organisations should “report on the feedback they have received and how they have used that feedback to improve their services”.[10] We believe that this needs to be accompanied by clear guidance, for instance, stating that feedback should be publicly reported on a quarterly basis. Sharing good practice We welcome the strong emphasis that the Framework places on the need to learn from complaints, and to share this learning widely. We believe that complaints too often remain an untapped resource for making patient safety improvements; a negative view of these processes present a barrier to effectively utilising the insights they can provide. In our report, A Blueprint For Action, we note that “healthcare is systematically poor at learning from harm”.[3] This has also been recognised in the CQC’s report, Opening the door to change, stating that “there is no clear system for staff to learn from each other at a national level. Local reporting systems are often poor quality and do not support staff well”.[11] How we achieve this ambition of sharing learning from patient complaints widely between NHS organisations requires further consideration. Organisations need the means to be able to share learning from complaints widely and effectively with other organisations in the NHS, without this getting lost in “the avalanche of other information that bombards organisations daily”.[3] Patient Safety Learning welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with PHSO on this issue and to promote and share good practice on the hub. References PHSO, Making Complaints Count: Supporting complaints handling in the NHS and UK Government Departments, July 2020. Ibid. Patient Safety Learning, The Patient-Safe Future: A Blueprint For Action, 2019. Robert Francis QC, Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, February 2013. The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, First Do No Harm, 8 July 2020; Patient Safety Learning, Findings of the Cumberlege Review: patient complaints, 30 July 2020. Rt Hon. Ann Clwyd MP and Professor Tricia Hart, A Review of the NHS Complaints System: Putting Patients Back in the Picture, October 2013. Healthwatch, Shifting the mindset: A closer look at hospital complains, January 2020; You can find further reading on complaints in healthcare on the hub. PHSO, Have your say in shaping the future of NHS complaints handling, Last Accessed 18 September 2020. Ibid. PHSO, Complaint Standards Framework: Summary of core expectations for NHS organisations and staff, July 2020. CQC, Opening the door to change: NHS safety culture and the need for transformation, 2018.
  5. Content Article
    Ehi Iden, Chief Executive Officer of the Occupational Health and Safety Managers, shares with the hub his blog 'Safety of the patients and correlation with the safety of the healthcare workers' (see attachment below). He also share the interview he did for TVC News Nigeria on World Patient Safety Day. Images from the day
  6. News Article
    Yesterday marked the second World Patient Safety Day, and this year’s theme shined a light on health worker safety – those on the frontline of the pandemic have been selfless in their sacrifices to care for an ailing global population. What has become ever clearer is that a health system is nothing without those who work within it and that we must prioritise the safety and wellbeing of health workers, because without safe health workers we cannot have safe patients. Improving maternity safety has been a priority for some time – although rare, when things go wrong the consequences are unthinkable for families and the professionals caring for them. Maternity negligence makes up 50% of the total value of negligence claims across all NHS sectors, according to the latest NHS Resolution annual report and accounts. It states there were claims of around £2.4 billion in 2019/20, which is in the region of £6.5 million a day. This cost says nothing of the suffering families and professionals associated. However, without investing in the maternity frontline we cannot hope to make integral systemic changes to improve maternity safety and save mothers’ and babies’ lives, writes Sara Ledger, head of research and development at Baby Lifeline in the Independent. "We owe it to every mother and baby to rigorously and transparently scrutinise the safety of maternity services, which will be in no small way linked to the support staff receive." Read full story Source: The Independent, 17 September 2020
  7. Content Article
    The National Action Plan centres on four foundational and interdependent areas, prioritised as essential to create total systems safety, with 17 recommendations to advance patient safety. Culture, Leadership, and Governance 1. Ensure safety is a demonstrated core value. 2. Assess capabilities and commit resources to advance safety. 3. Widely share information about safety to promote transparency. 4. Implement competency-based governance and leadership. Patient and family engagement 5. Establish competencies for all healthcare professionals for the engagement of patients, families, and care partners. 6. Engage patients, families, and care partners in the co-production of care. 7. Include patients, families, and care partners in leadership, governance, and safety and improvement efforts. 8. Ensure equitable engagement for all patients, families, and care partners. 9. Promote a culture of trust and respect for patients, families, and care partners. Workforce safety 10. Implement a systems approach to workforce safety. 11. Assume accountability for physical and psychological safety and a healthy work environment that fosters the joy of the health care workforce. 12. Develop, resource, and execute on priority programmes that equitably foster workforce safety. Learning system 13. Facilitate both intra- and inter-organisational learning. 14. Accelerate the development of the best possible safety learning networks. 15. Initiate and develop systems to facilitate interprofessional education and training on safety. 16. Develop shared goals for safety across the continuum of care. 17. Expedite industry-wide coordination, collaboration, and cooperation on safety.
  8. News Article
    COVID-19 death tolls at individual care homes are being kept secret by regulators in part to protect providers’ commercial interests before a possible second coronavirus surge, the Guardian can reveal. England’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland are refusing to make public which homes or providers recorded the most fatalities amid fears it could undermine the UK’s care system, which relies on private operators. In response to freedom of information requests, the regulators said they were worried that the supply of beds and standards of care could be threatened if customers left badly affected operators. The CQC and Care Inspectorate share home-by-home data with their respective governments – but both refused to make it public. Residents’ families attacked the policy, with one bereaved daughter describing it as “ridiculous” and another relative saying deaths data could indicate a home’s preparedness for future outbreaks. “Commercial interest when people’s lives are at stake shouldn’t even be a factor,” said Shirin Koohyar, who lost her father in April after he tested positive for Covid at a west London care home. “The patient is the important one here, not the corporation.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 August 2020
  9. News Article
    The Health Research Authority has launched a new strategy to ensure information about all health and social care research – including COVID-19 research - is made publicly available to benefit patients, researchers and policy makers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of sharing details of research taking place - to understand the virus and find the tests, treatments and vaccines - so that results can inform best quality care and preventive measures. This also means researchers do not duplicate efforts and can build on each other’s work while the public can see what research is going on. Now the new Make it Public strategy aims to build on this good practice and make it easy for researchers to be transparent about their work. The strategy, delivered by the HRA in partnership with NHS Research Scotland (NRS), Health and Care Research Wales and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, is about making transparency ‘the norm’ in research and making information more visible to the public. New measures set out in the strategy – will improve transparency and openness in health and social care studies, by: expecting researchers to plan how they will let research participants know about the findings of the study from the beginning introducing additional monitoring to check that researchers are reporting results and to collect information about study findings making information on individual research projects – and their transparency performance - available to the public introducing a system to consider past transparency performance when reviewing new studies for approval and in the future introducing sanctions.
  10. Content Article
    This webinar discusses: how we currently respond to harm how restorative justice practices differ why restorative justice is important in this complex healthcare environment application to practice.
  11. News Article
    Over 90 civil society groups and individual signatories are calling on all public authorities and private sector organisations to protect those who expose harms, abuses and serious wrongdoing during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, worrying reports concerning hospitals and public authorities retaliating against healthcare professionals for speaking out about the realities of COVID-19 have emerged worldwide, from China to the United States. Transparency International urges decision-makers at the highest level to resist the temptation to control the flow of information and instead offer assurances to individuals who witness corruption and wrongdoing to blow the whistle. Marie Terracol, Whistleblowing Programme Coordinator at Transparency International said: “The need for transparency and integrity, heightened in this time of crisis where abuses can cost lives, illustrates the essential role of those who speak up in the public interest." “National governments, public institutions and companies should listen to workers and citizens who come forward and report abuses they witness and protect them from retaliation, including in countries which still do not offer robust legal whistleblower protection. If people feel they can safely make a difference by speaking up, more instances of abuses will be prevented and addressed, and lives might be saved.” Read full story Source: Transparency International. 22 April 2020
  12. Community Post
    Do you have a patient safety newsletter in your Trust? It would be very interesting for others to see how your is set out and the content. Here is one from Cardiff and Vale.
  13. Community Post
    I am interested in what colleagues here think about the proposed patient safety specialist role? https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/introducing-patient-safety-specialists/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-patient-safety-hospitals-mistakes-harm-a9259486.html Can this development make a difference? Or will it lead to safety becoming one person's responsibility and / or more of the same as these responsibilities will be added to list of duties of already busy staff? Can these specialist be a driver for culture change including embedding a just culture and a focus on safety-II and human factors? What support do trusts and specialists need for this to happen? Some interesting thoughts on this here: https://twitter.com/TerryFairbanks/status/1210357924104736768
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