Award for helping with patient safety

Health bosses are celebrating after winning an award for improving the safety of patients in its hospital.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust won the ‘Patient Safety in Acute Care Award’ at the Patient Safety Awards 2013 for its highly-successful approach, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and has reduced potential harm to patients.

A random sample of 40 patient case notes across all areas of the trust are analysed every month to look at where safety improvements could be made.

The team – made up of a consultant physician, consultant anaesthetist, an intensive care nurse specialist, modern matron for practice development, clinical governance lead, information analyst and clinical audit facilitator – used the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool as it is validated as a measure of incidents of harm that occur in healthcare settings.

The trust said the work has led to initiatives being put in place for the benefit of patients, such as a campaign to reduce hospital-acquired pneumonia by encouraging patients’ beds to be tilted at the right angle.

It is the second award for the multi-disciplinary team after they won the quality award at the trust’s first ‘Building a caring future’ awards for staff.

Dr Dan Higham, consultant physician who has led the project, said: “We are delighted that we have been recognised on a national stage for this approach.

“The award is testament to the commitment and dedication of the team who have worked so hard over the last three years to improve care, reduce harm and deliver real benefits to our patients.

“This work is just one part of a range of initiatives in place to improve patient safety.”