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Patient Safety Day highlights work of the NHS

Tracey Forshaw and Brendan Prescott from NHS South Sefton CCG

The first ever national World Patient Safety Day has highlighted the great work the NHS are already doing in south Sefton to improve the safety of patients.

The aim of World Health Organisation’s national day is to create awareness of patient safety and urge people to speak up about their commitment to making healthcare safer.

In south Sefton there are many ways that NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are doing this and they are keen to share that good work with others across the region to support redesign of services to benefit all patients.

Tracey Forshaw, assistant chief nurse at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We work all year round to improve the safety of our patients in south Sefton. What is key for us is to share any learning with our key partners in Sefton and if helpful we also share learnings nationally so as not to reinvent the wheel and so that patients receive the safest care as soon as they can.”

Just one example in south Sefton is the reduction of antibiotic prescriptions for older people in care homes in Bootle. Many older people will show bacteria in their bladder when urine dipsticks are used but it does not necessarily mean that they have a water infection and need medication as some bacteria is harmless.

An eight week pilot with the CCG and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has shown the improvements that can be made in a short space of time. Two months before the pilot started the CCG saw 26 hospital admissions from water infections in people at care homes, after the pilot there has been none. There were also 76 antibiotic prescriptions made before the pilot and only four have been made since the pilot finished, showing that only appropriate prescribing are now taking place for water infections.

Something else the CCG has changed following a review is for maintenance agreements to be put in place for equipment including epilepsy bed mats in residential care. This is just one example where a case came to the clinical commissioning group who has then made improvements working with Sefton Council and Mencap, NHS England and NHS Improvement Cheshire and Merseyside and local authorities across the region to share the learning.

The CCG also works with Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on a regular basis to review how they work together to improve the safety of patients. Together they have done work with the team on falls prevention by introducing low rise beds, assisted technology, posters in hospitals and also started bay tagging to ensure that a member of staff is always around to watch those patients at risk of falls at all times and reduce harm as a result of falls.

Aintree University Hospital was one of the first hospitals in England to support ‘Sign up to Safety’, an NHS England national patient safety campaign with a mission to strengthen patient safety in the NHS and make it the safest healthcare system in the world, you can read more about their pledges here: www.aintreehospital.nhs.uk/about-us/open-and-honest-care-and-safe-staffing/sign-up-to-safety/

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Aintree University Hospital, said: “Our teams have done a lot of work to improve the safety of the care we provide in a range of areas. World Patient Safety Day is a great opportunity for us to share our successes, learn how we can improve further and promote best practice across the hospital.”

Aintree University Hospital will be hosting a Patient Safety Day event where teams from across the hospital will be on hand to discuss the work they have done to make improvements in a range of areas including medicines management, identifying and treating sepsis, preventing falls and pressure ulcers and improving infection prevention and control.

There will also be presentations from the hospital’s Chief Executive, Medical Director and Chief Nurse.

The event, which is open to everyone, takes place on 17th September from 11.30am – 2.30pm in the Boardroom at Aintree Hospital.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer at the CCG said: “We are speaking up for patient safety and working with others to share learning both ways. This is so important to us as a CCG and I am pleased there is a national awareness day to celebrate this work. It all helps in making changes for the better to improve the care of our patients for the future.”

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