Sign up to Safety

We are taking part in the Government’s three-year Sign up to Safety campaign which is designed to help realise the ambition of making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world by creating a system devoted to continuous learning and improvement.

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Nationally this aim is to save 6,000 lives and we have pledged to reduce avoidable harm by 50% over the next three years.

Our focus will be in five areas: falls, nutrition and hydration, maternity, surgery and pressure ulcers.

Over the next three years we aim to:

  • reduce the number of avoidable grade three pressure ulcers by 50 per cent in three years and avoidable grade four pressure ulcers to zero
  • eliminate all avoidable repeat falls and aim to reduce harm from falls
  • ensure all patients have an appropriate management plan in place to prevent malnutrition and dehydration
  • reduce the harm in surgery
  • reduce the number of stillbirths.

As part of the project we have committed to five pledges:

1.Put safety first – Commit to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half and make public the goals and plans developed locally:

  • We are committed to being ‘open and transparent’ by developing and embedding the use of quality ward and department boards across the organisation displaying information on pressure ulcers, falls, patient feedback and friends & family comments.
  • We will build on our existing improvement work streams and improve our safety on falls, pressure ulcers and medication safety, and will move to zero tolerance on repeat avoidable falls, hospital acquired grade 4 pressure ulcers.
  • We will eliminate Never Events with improvements that focus on team briefings, checklists and practises to communicate and escalate concerns.

2. Continually learn – Make our organisation more resilient to risk by acting on the feedback from patients and constantly measuring and monitoring how safe our services are:

  • We are committed to proactively identifying effective methods to gain feedback from patients and family, to learn from their comments and concerns and whether our patients would recommend us to their friends and family and how highly they rate our services to identify areas to improve.
  • We will improve our patient experience by using positive and constructive patient feedback to support our continual learning from the experiences of our patients and their families to constantly monitor and measure how safe our services are.
  • We will continue to develop and embed our ‘patient stories’ initiative, sharing at our Trust Board and our Quality & Patient Experience Committee and other relevant groups. We will strengthen the way in which we share these with front line staff to ensure lessons are learnt and changes in practice take place.
  • We will improve on developing the right climate for learning lessons from adverse incidents, complaints and claims, continuing to use data for improvement and develop the knowledge base of our staff to accelerate the pace of change.

3. Honesty – 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:

  • We will continue to implement and embed the Duty of Candour through our existing ‘Being Open’ Policy and review practice to ensure the trust systems and processes support a culture of openness and will work with staff to develop communication skills and will discuss when something goes wrong with patients and families in a transparent and honest way.
  • We will ensure all serious incident investigations are reviewed by a multi-professional committee and shared with the patient and family and seek their views and experiences to improve safety.
  • We will continue to improve the way we handle complaints and concerns in an honest and open way. Developing the role of senior nurse leadership to support professionals improve their skills in communicating with patients and their families when something goes wrong.
  • We will increase transparency of information on the number of staff on duty on all wards by sharing this with patients and families on ward staffing boards. Specifying means of escalation for staff, patients and family to raise concerns.
  • We are committed to being transparent with our patients by participating in the NHS England Open and Honest Care initiative which means we will publish a monthly report of any harm to our patients from health care acquired infection, pressure ulcers and falls.

4. Collaborate – Take a leading role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use:

  • We will actively participate in the establishment of the regional patient safety collaboratives to develop a culture of continual learning and improvement.
  • We will work with commissioners and local health care partners to improve collaborative learning and communication to improve safety across all services and provide assurance to patients and the public that we have a shared vision to improve.
  • We will improve the content and provision of discharge summaries to GPs to ensure safer handover of care to primary providers.
  • We will improve engagement internally and externally with public, patients, staff and governors to improve learning and take forward patient safety improvements.

5. Support – Help people understand why thing go wrong and how to put them right. Give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate the progress.

  • We will continue to embed our vision and values of ‘Together we care, Together we respect, Together we deliver’ and will celebrate achievements and progress of our staff through our ‘SHINE’ network and ‘Our Stars’ annual awards ceremony.
  • We will continue to develop the trust programme of patient safety training by offering a variety of work based programmes and opportunities to help people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right.
  • We will ensure our staff are supported and given time to reflect and learn through a range of events including best practice days, quality and safety days and ward management leadership programmes.