NBT signs up to safety

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

North Bristol NHS Trust is one of the first 12 NHS organisations in England to sign up to an ambitious three-year Government-led campaign with the aim of making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.

Sign up to Safety, which launches today (Tuesday, June 24), requires NHS organisations to:

  • Listen to patients, carers and staff
  • Learn from what they say when things go wrong
  • Take action to improve patients’ safety

Andrea Young, Chief Executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This Trust has always led the way in terms of patient safety and we are pleased to be chosen by the Department of Health to be one of the first trusts to be involved in the campaign.

“We all recognise that healthcare carries some risk and while everyone working in the NHS works hard every day to reduce this risk, harm still happens.

“Whenever possible, we must do all we can to deliver harm free care for every patient.  We must be open with our patients and colleagues about the potential for things to go wrong and we must continuously learn from what happens in order to improve. 

“We all accept and embrace the learning that is needed when patients are harmed and we all know it is important to raise concerns. This campaign will support people to feel safe to speak up when things do go wrong.

“Everyone involved in caring for patients can make a difference. By harnessing the talent and enthusiasm across North Bristol NHS Trust, together we can make enduring changes to improve safety, halve avoidable harm and most importantly make a positive difference to the people we care for.”

One of the first steps is that organisations have been asked to develop a plan that describes what they will do to reduce harm and save lives by working to reduce the causes of harm and take a preventative approach.

Plans are built around five core pledges:

  1. Put Safety First – commit to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half and make public the goals and plans developed locally
  2. Continually learn – make their organisations more resilient to risk, by acting on feedback from patients and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe their services are
  3. Honesty – be transparent with people about progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong
  4. Collaborate – take a leading role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use
  5. Support – help people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate the progress

North Bristol NHS Trust’s action plan builds on existing practices and new measures.

These include executive safety walk rounds to ask patients and staff about their day-to-day experience of safety, a case review of every patient death to determine any harm events that may have contributed to the death and improving team effectiveness and safety culture in operating theatres.

To view the whole action plan visit www.nbt.nhs.uk/signuptosafety

In addition, all participating organisations have been asked to adopt or adapt a safety briefing for patients so they understand the actions they can take and how they can work with those caring for them to help ensure their care is as safe as possible.

To read more about the campaign visit www.signuptosafety.nhs.uk