Surgical safety shortlisted for award 

29/03/2017 00:00 
A drive to reduce surgical harm has led to UCLH being shortlisted for a Patient Safety Award.

Run by the Health Service Journal, the awards recognise and reward outstanding practice in healthcare.

The Trust has been shortlisted in the surgical care category for a programme of action that has seen reports of avoidable patient harm more than halve since its introduction two years ago.

It aims to improve the way we use the Five Steps to Safer Surgery checklist in theatres and other invasive procedures, focusing on the quality of the checks to optimise safety through better communication and teamwork.

Initiatives include the creation of a Trust-wide surgical safety policy, training and coaching sessions for theatre staff, a surgical safety bulletin and most crucially, the introduction of regular surgical safety walkarounds.

During these, groups of staff make unannounced visits to theatres, where they observe and talk to teams about safety before giving informal feedback and producing a written report.

The surgical safety walkarounds enable staff from different areas of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to swap experiences, help break down barriers and flag up areas for improvement.

Importantly, there has been a 75 per cent reduction in reports of avoidable patient harm since this latest initiative began in April 2015, alongside an increase in incident reporting.

Professor Tony Mundy, corporate medical director with responsibility for quality and safety, has participated in one of the walkarounds.

He said: “Our philosophy is that teams can learn as much from what goes well as from what needs to improve.

“The Care Quality Commission was impressed with our approach during its UCLH inspection, calling it ‘exemplary’.”

Katie McCormack, the initiative’s project manager and Dan Farrar, its clinical lead, said: “We are delighted to have made the shortlist and that everyone’s hard work has been recognised.”

A spokesman for the Patient Safety Awards said: “The judges have had a tough job scoring this year and have commended the high quality of entries – so to be shortlisted is a fantastic achievement.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester at the start of July.




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