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Clear focus for quality at Northumbria Healthcare

Wednesday, 24 September, 2014

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched a major new initiative to support its staff to further improve the quality of care they provide in hospitals and in the community in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Already one of the country’s top performing organisations and widely recognised as having one of the NHS’ best patient experience programmes, the trust has launched its ‘quality strategy’ which gives its 9,000 staff a clear focus and reflects the importance and commitment the organisation places on quality of care.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We have already made huge strides in the last few years with some great quality improvements in areas such as infection, stroke care, broken hips and other important pathways.

“The aim of the strategy is to be clear about our longer-term ambition, priorities and, most importantly, how all staff can be supported and encouraged where they see an opportunity to make improvements for their patients.”

The strategy aims to ensure that quality of care underpins every decision taken by every member of staff and to provide the safest health and care services to patients in hospital and in the community.

It also aims for the trust to be recognised as a caring organisation locally, regionally and nationally and to attract, retain, support and train the best staff.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience and trust lead for the development of the quality strategy, said: “Quality can mean different things to different people and it can be a challenge to deliver this consistently in a large, multi-faceted organisation, like ours.

“Our staff already provide high quality care every day however we must not rest of our laurels and continuously strive to do even better for our patients.

“Quality of care and safety are taken seriously by everyone in the organisation and all staff have a part to play in helping us to build on our strengths and delivering our strategy.

“We welcome all feedback about the quality of our services from our staff and our patients and their families through our extensive patient experience programme and this work will complement that.”

A number of projects have taken place which have improved the quality of care at Northumbria Healthcare. These include Shared Purpose for elderly patients which has led to the setting up of snack clubs and coffee mornings, the hip fracture quality improvement programme which has helped to reduce mortality rates and the number of people waiting more than 36 hours for surgery, and Shine which has involved care home residents in North Tyneside in decisions about their medication.