The Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards celebrate the teams and individuals within the healthcare sector, who are striving to improve the hospital experience in a number of different ways.
DBTH have been nominated for this year’s ‘Patient Safety Innovation of the Year’ accolade, in recognition of their Sharing How We Care (SHWC) initiative. Since its inception around 18 months ago, this ambitious scheme has overseen a number of improvements in the Trust, including a simple yet effect system for monitoring hydration, new rules for ensuring that inpatients get a good night’s sleep, and protected mealtimes to support better nutrition. In conjunction with the ‘World Health Organisation’s ‘No Tobacco Day’, the organisation also went smoke free in 2019.
Eager to share these many accomplishments, DBTH’s patient safety team oversaw the creation of a monthly SHWC newsletter. Focussing on aspects of the hospital experience, and shining a spotlight on new ideas that have been trialled in clinical areas, this update is sent to all Trust staff and has been met with resoundingly positive feedback. In particular, it has been praised for how it makes information about patient safety readily accessible in an open and transparent way, so that others areas can take inspiration from their colleagues.
Speaking about this, Cindy Storer, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: ‘’The Sharing How We Care bulletin gives members of Team DBTH the chance to see what’s going on elsewhere in the organisation, in relation to clinical safety. It’s where we champion those who have gone above and beyond and thought outside the box to deliver meaningful changes that will benefit our patients. Whenever we are proud of our amazing work and want to spread awareness of the associated learning, this is where we do it.’’
Complementing the newsletter, the patient safety team organised a SHWC conference, the most recent of which was held in April 2019 and was attended by more than 150 local nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals. The day featured a series of informative workshops about a number of topics, as well as a moving talk from guest speaker James Titcombe, who drew upon his own personal experiences with the NHS to underline the need for transparency and the importance of learning from negative experiences. An annual event, the next session was due to take place in May 2020, but was unfortunately cancelled due to the challenges presented by Covid-19.
Sharing his thoughts on the nomination, Richard Parker, Chief Executive of DBTH, said: ‘’I am delighted that the HSJ judges have recognised the efforts of our team, as they really have done some fantastic work in embedding how we share and learn from improvements made across the Trust. Learning from mistakes and sharing best practice in an open and safe environment is absolutely crucial in achieving our vision to be the safest trust in England: outstanding in all we do.’’
For social distancing purposes this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards will be held remotely, with winners being announced in an online ceremony in November.
IMAGE SHOWS: Please note the above picture was taken in 2019, pre-coronavirus outbreak.