Safety first, safety always

New patient safety strategy

Safety is our absolute priority, our ambition is to provide the best and safest care possible for our patients.

A new patient safety strategy Safety first, safety always is being developed (November 2020) which sets out what the trust is looking to achieve over the next six months. The trust will be engaging fully on the content of the strategy in December 2020 and January 2021.

As part of our programme to continuously improve patient safety, the trust has invested in innovative technology which is being installed on 17 mental health wards by spring 2021. Oxehealth’s Oxevision platform consists of a secure optical sensor which remotely monitors a patient’s pulse and breathing rate 24 hours a day and alerts staff if they display activity or behaviour that may present a risk to their safety.

Our quality vision

“To promote a culture and approach where every member of staff has the passion, confidence and skills to champion and compassionately deliver safer, more reliable, care”

We aim to be the safest organisation in the NHS through embracing an ethic of learning in which every member understands their role in delivering clinical quality and works towards this goal every day. Recent reviews and publicity have rightly seen an increase in national scrutiny and a renewed commitment to ensuring the quality of services within the NHS. The recent publications from Francis, Keogh and Berwick Reviews have identified wider system failings impacting on the quality of care.

We have developed a Quality Strategy where we set out our aims to build on our strengths and complement our governance and safety infrastructure which is outlined within the strategy. The Quality Strategy is one of a number of strategies being taken forward across the Trust and aims to deliver quality improvements in a transparent and measurable way covering four domains:

Safe Care

  • Early detection of deteriorating patient
  • Reduction in avoidable pressure ulcers
  • Reduction in harm from falls
  • Reduction in unexpected deaths
  • Reduction in use of restraint
  • Reduction in medication omissions

Positive experience of care

  • Receiving and acting upon feedback from patients, relatives and carers
  • Ensuring care is delivered with compassion, kindness and respect
  • Increasing access to information allowing patients to make informed choices
  • Improving end of life care

Effective care, outcome-focused care

  • Adoption of NICE and evidence based practice
  • Contemporaneous record keeping and personalised care planning
  • Use of clinical audit to improve care and not just for compliance
  • Publication and benchmarking of clinical outcomes
  • Learning from incidents, near misses and embedding change

Well organised and responsive care

  • Appropriate staffing and skill mix
  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Timely and affective discharge and aftercare
  • Leadership and capabilities of teams

These four domains link with EPUT’s Quality Account, Annual Plan and CQUINs to ensure a standardised approach and a robust clinical governance framework. To take forward and head up this governance framework, we have established the Quality Committee. The Quality Committee reports directly to the Board of Directors with a number of sub-committees reporting directly into the Quality Committee. These are:

Learning Oversight Subcommittee
Clinical Governance & Quality Subcommittee
Patient and Carer Experience Subcommittee
Health, Safety and Security Subcommittee
Information Governance Subcommittee

The Quality Strategy sets out ambitions which may be seen as aspirational, but are what we aim to work towards over the next five years. Creating a ‘Zero Harm’ culture will enable us to deliver measurable improvement and create confidence that EPUT is delivering the highest quality healthcare. Implementation of this quality strategy will strengthen confidence and pride in the organisation with people who access our services knowing that they are amongst the best and are safe, effective and responsive to their needs, every time and all of the time.

Quality is a key driver in each of the four strategic priorities for EPUT and safety, experience and effectiveness is a theme that runs through each of them and will be articulated in our annual objectives each year. The first priority links clearly with the Quality Strategy as it covers quality and highlights a number of the priorities set out in the Quality Strategy.

Strategic Priority 1: Delivering Quality Services That Are Safe and Effective

We will continue to make sure that we meet or exceed quality requirements consistently regardless of the external environment. This will require clear lines of accountability, with defined expectations and service standards, and empowerment of our workforce to deliver at all levels of the organisation.

Strategic Priority 2: Workforce Culture and Capacity

We need to continue to develop an organisational culture that reflects the increasingly diverse nature of EPUT’s service provision and builds on the values already in place. Our workforce is key to delivering the other three strategic priorities. It’s not just about the numbers of staff and the competencies they have; we want our staff to have shared values and belief systems that engender trust from our patients and their carers.

Strategic Priority 3: Transforming Care

We will demonstrate our ability to respond to the current and future environment by working collaboratively to transform delivery of care. We want to add value, make a difference and be a key partner in identifying and implementing the solutions to the system wide transformation of health and social care that is required.

Strategic Priority 4: Clear Plans For Sustainable Services and Resources Used to Deliver Them

Developing sustainable services that can continue to be delivered and meet the requirements of the population they are aimed at during continual change will be a key priority for EPUT. There is not one answer to achieve this, but carefully made decisions, pursued opportunities and partnerships will enable us to add value to quality of service provision, improve care pathways, be more innovative in our approach and contribute to financial stability.