NGH signs up to safety

Northampton General Hospital has signed up to a national campaign that aims to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. 

The Sign up to Safety campaign asks NHS organisations to deliver a three-year action plan to strengthen patient safety, reduce harm for patients and save lives. 

NGH Patient Safety Programme Director Jane Bradley said: “The Sign Up To Safety campaign emphasises the importance of listening to patients, carers and staff; and learning from successes and when things go wrong. We will focus on areas where we know we can make improvements, and continue to build on the improvement work that has already begun.

“We’ve signed up to the campaign because it mirrors perfectly what we’re aiming to achieve with our in-house patient safety academy: the delivery of harm-free care for every patient; and the championing of a culture of openness and honesty.”

Below is the list of five Sign Up to Safety campaign pledges and the actions that the hospital has identified to help deliver the pledges. 

Pledge 1: Putting safety first

We commit to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half and make public our locally developed goals and plans. To deliver this pledge we will:

  • continue to develop our organisational safety huddles, making the review of acuity, capacity, capability planning for safe harm free care the new normal
  • publicise and promote our safety strategy and our ambitions for patient safety, and continue to build on our existing safety improvement work streams. 
  • develop patient engagement via a patient daily plan, encouraging patients to ask about their care and treatment whilst in hospital asking whether they feel safe. 
  • continue to develop our safety culture of safety champions throughout the  hospital, ensuring the concept of eyes & ears of patient safety in clinical and non-clinical areas. 
  • continue to focus on reducing all avoidable harm 
  • continue to develop our internal safety inspections (QuEST – Quality, Effectiveness and Safety Team), and share information from ECLIPS (patient experience, complaints, litigation, PALS and Safeguarding). 
  • develop and refine a workforce strategy and metrics to drive continuous  improvement resulting in a skilled, safe and resilient workforce. 

Pledge 2: Continually learning

Make our organisation more resilient to risks, by acting on the feedback from  patients and staff and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe our services are. To deliver this pledge we will:

  • continue to promote the use of our patient safety leaflets and video to educate patients to help  manage their own safety whilst in our care 
  • continue to develop our Patient Safety Learning Forum to ensure we  continually learn new ways to extract the learning from incidents and good practice which can flow throughout the organisation. 
  • develop and support our ward mangers to enable them to run flagship wards. 
  • continue to use our Aspiring to Excellence Programme for medical students to be the springboard for patient safety concepts by approaching  the topic from a systems perspective and by embedding it into a wider clinical systems improvement and risk management framework, working  with senior colleagues and safety champions. 
  • ensure that the executive team through Board-to-ward visits continue to monitor safety and promote an open and honest culture for reporting concerns. 
  • monitor staff’s perceptions through a twice yearly safety culture questionnaire. 
  • proactively seek feedback from and with our patients and public and use their valuable experience to shape improvement work to the direct benefit of our patients. 
  • provide support for doctors in training to learn about safety and improvement.  

Pledge 3: Being honest.

Be transparent with people about our progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong. To deliver this pledge we will:  

  • display data at ward level on patient safety & quality boards with regards to days since last; falls, avoidable pressure ulcers, MRSA & Clostridium difficile, and cardiac arrests. 
  • monthly data in relation to hand hygiene, omitted medicines, VTE prophylaxis, and escalation of deteriorating patients. 
  • encourage safety champions to utilise drop-in sessions to discuss local issues and improvement ideas. 
  • start each board meeting with a patient story. 
  • fully implement the new duty of candour and review practice to ensure our systems and processes support a culture of transparency, openness and honesty. 
  • invite complainants to meet with senior medical and nursing teams providing further information on causation and local and organisational learning. 

Pledge 4: Collaborating

Take a lead role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use. To deliver this pledge we will:

  • promote all patient safety events with GPs and continue to monitor GP concerns and represent the Trust at PLT meetings to ensure primary and secondary care learning is developed. 
  • link with the East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative to share good practice and improvement work 
  • utilise safety champions pan-Trust to assist with dissemination of safety information and key messages within their work areas. 
  • develop a safety & quality master class for the Connecting for Quality, Committed to Excellence internal management and leadership programme. 

Pledge 5: Being supportive. 

Help our people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give them the time and support to improve and celebrate progress. To deliver this pledge we will: 

  • continue to support teams to undertake PDSA cycles of change and improvement how to monitor sustainability 
  • our Safety Academy will work on a campaign to support and develop a ward team into a turn-around flagship ward. This will include working with academy leads and other specialists looking at working in a radically different way. This model would then form a platform for rollout to other clinical areas. 
  • continue to celebrate success of individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to patient safety. 
  • support patient safety champions to attend safety events to allow promotion and learning of patient safety ideals. 
  • continue to develop the patient safety intranet site to be a conduit of information for all staff. 
  • support staff who are in date of their required mandatory training to attend specific training within our simulation centre. 
  • develop an annual multidisciplinary safety and quality conference, learning from human factors and safety sciences and celebrating success. 

For more information about Sign up to Safety, visit the campaign website.

Posted on Tuesday 9th May 2017
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