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Northumbria wins national patient safety award

Wednesday, 09 July, 2014
Northumbria wins national patient safety award

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has won a national award for improving the safety of patients in its hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The Trust won the Patient Safety in Acute Care Award at the Patient Safety Awards 2013 for its highly-successful approach – believed to be the only one of its kind in the country – which has reduced potential harm to patients.

The approach works by analysing a random sample of 40 patient case notes across all areas of the Trust every single 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 this is internationally recognised and validated as a measure of incidents of harm that occur in healthcare settings.

The work has led to initiatives being put in place which are having real benefits for patients such as a campaign to reduce hospital-acquired pneumonia by simply encouraging patients’ beds to be tilted at the right angle.

This 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 at Northumbria Healthcare 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.

“As a Trust we are committed to providing high quality and person-centred care to our patients every single day and that begins with care that is safe.

“This work is just one part of a whole range of initiatives in place to improve patient safety, outcomes for patients and patient experience and also deliver more efficient healthcare.”

Northumbria Healthcare is recognised as being one of the country’s top trusts and is committed to improving patient safety. In 2010, the Trust won the Board Leadership category at the Patient Safety Awards as the judges recognised that the board of directors is committed to improving patient safety and quality of care.


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