This week I was delighted to be invited to the Trent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre at NUH. The team at the Centre do fantastic work developing safety skills and behaviours in individuals and teams taking their mannequins, simulated patients and human factors knowledge around the Trust to make NUH even safer for our patients. This time, I was invited to the centre to meet the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) who were visiting NUH. Patient safety is and must always be the priority for NUH, so the opportunity to discuss how we can improve learning when unintended events occur in healthcare, particularly with the soon to be functional HSIB, was very welcome.
HSIB will be operational from April 2017 and while their scope is yet to be confirmed, it was positive to learn how they will undertake certain investigations, but also provide an exemplar approach to investigation of incidents, with support and guidance to NHS organisations. The discussions orientated around how we can improve our learning processes; we owe a debt to patients who have been harmed while in our care and must do everything we can to prevent future occurrence. While it may be impossible to completely remove errors in healthcare, we can certainly do our best to minimise them as far as humanly possible.
Talking about incidents can often be seen as negative, but the conversations were very positive and provided an opportunity to explore NUH’s new approaches to improving patient safety. Much research now considers how we can also learn from excellence and successful outcomes despite staff facing complex and difficult situations. This focus on celebration and resilience has been embraced with a new pilot of a “Learning from Excellence” reporting system across certain areas at NUH, including in the Nottingham Children’s Hospital. The anticipation is that this will provide vast learning to help minimise incidents by learning from “where things go well,” as well as celebrating staff success. We hope to roll out “Learning from Excellence” to wider areas across NUH from 2017.
“Learning from Excellence” is just one new safety initiative at NUH, with others including enhancing learning from our electronic observation systems, electronic handover, sepsis screening, medications safety, patient involvement in safety, developing high-performing teams through the NUHTEAMS programme and integrating more processes into incident analysis that help truly explore influences on performance.
The enthusiasm of the improvement teams is evident. They are passionate and committed to improving care and experience for both patients and staff. Often this work is done as an extra to their day jobs and recognition is well deserved. They are honest with the challenges that they face, but also willing to share to help others overcome similar problems.
We end the year at NUH with an ever-growing mountain of innovative programmes aimed at improving patient safety and the quality of care that patients receive. There is no doubt that these programmes make patients safer and NUH a better place to work for staff.
This week we started our ‘Advent Actions and Festive Facts for Safety’ messages to celebrate, each day during December, our 2016 safety success stories and areas we need to give greater focus as part of our continuous improvement. You can find these daily messages via @nuhstaff and on the intranet.
And of course, don’t forget, the deadline is approaching for this year’s Patient Safety Awards (13 Jan) – find out more here. Let’s celebrate our safety achievements. Our Communications Team can help with nominations email@example.com.
Roll on 2017!