06-sign-up-to-safety-colour-logo-sml

Sign up to Safety is a national patient safety campaign with the mission to strengthen patient safety in the NHS and make it the safest healthcare system in the world.

The campaign aims to help member organisations listen to patients, carers and staff, learn from what they say when things go wrong and take action to improve patient’s safety, helping to ensure patients get harm free care every time, everywhere.

In signing up, we commit to strengthening our patient safety by:

  • Describing the actions we will undertake in response to the five campaign pledges.
  • Identify the patient safety improvement areas we will focus on within the safety plans.
  • Engage our local community, patients and staff to ensure that the focus of our plan reflects what is important to our community.
  • Make public our pledges.

To find out more about Sign up to Safety, visit: www.england.nhs.uk/signuptosafety

Our five ‘Sign up to Safety’ pledges

One – Putting safety first

We commit to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half and make public our locally developed goals and plans

We will:

  1. Work across boundaries, organisations and agencies to reduce harm. This will enable collaboration, trianglualtion and sharing of intelligence and lessons learned, and develop an open and transparent culture.
  2. Develop Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) schemes with our local providers to incentivise quality, efficiency and transformation.
  3. Support and provide guidance to our commissioned services and general practitioners in the implementation of their commitments to this pledge.
Two – Continually learning

We will make our organisation more resilient to risks, by acting on the feedback from patients and staff and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe our services are.

We will:

  1. Undertake regular improvement meetings with our providers and attend serious incident learning events to make sure services have embedded the learning into practice.
  2. Continually monitor the quality of our providers by triangulation of all data available and ensure action plans are followed up in a timely manner.
  3. Listen to patient feedback and receive patient stories at our governing body meeting.
  4. Create an environment that embraces patient and staff feedback to continually learn and improve.
  5. Encourage our general practices to report quality issues through the Quality Issues Reporting log and we will share the themes and trends with our providers to allow them to monitor and improve their services.
Three – Being honest

We will be transparent with people about our progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong.

We will:

  1. Monitor our commissioned services compliance to the ‘Duty of Candour’ both through the NHS contract and the CQUIN Schemes.
  2. Support providers to improve the management of complaints, we pledge to follow the same process for our complaints.
  3. Be open and publish the learning of any serious incidents and complaints.
Four – Collaborating

We will take a lead role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use

We will:

  1. Work with other agencies and organisations to share learning and improvements, supported by local groups, such as the NHSE network events, Patient Safety Collaboratives, Academic Health Science Network and the Improvement Academy.
  2. Support and provide guidance to our General Practitioners to continuously improve the Primary Care services.
Five – Being supportive

We’ll help our people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give them the time and support to improve and celebrate progress

We will:

  1. Support staff to do the right thing, every time and to say when they can’t. We will acknowledge error and allow learning to take place.
  2. Undertake regular improvement meetings with our providers and attend serious incident learning events to make sure services have embedded the learning into practice.
  3. Commit time and resources to developing our staff through regular one-to-ones and Personal Development Reviews.

Making sure that your healthcare information is accurate and clear

 

The CCG is supporting Sign up to Safety through its five pledges to improve the safety of patient care but we need your help too. We’re asking patients to do all they can to keep themselves and their families safe when being treated by the NHS or accessing care services.

When you move between health and care services, there are three key things that you can do to help make sure that information is accurate and clear.

  • Have an up-to-date list of your prescribed medication available to give to all services involved in your care so they’ll know right away what medicines you are taking.
  • Make sure you are given information about what will happen next with regard to your healthcare, when this will happen and who you can contact if you have any questions.
  • Before you leave hospital, make sure you understand any changes to your medication or follow-ups required.

There are many other ways that you can help keep yourself and your family safe and well. You’ll find lots of useful information about health conditions and treatments on the NHS Choices website.

 

Conditions that can be spotted early, or prevented altogether

 

There are certain conditions, including sepsis and kidney injury that can be life-threatening if not spotted in time and treated. And there are conditions that can be prevented altogether, such as injury from falls, pressure ulcers and problems resulting from errors in medication safety.

We’ve looked at each of these five areas in more detail below.

Sepsis

Sepsis for Web

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning or septicaemia, is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition in which the body’s immune system goes into overdrive after an infection or injury. It’s difficult to diagnose because it can look just like many common illnesses such as the flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.

What can you do?

You should seek medical advice immediately so that sepsis can be considered if you feel ill and you also have one or more of these symptoms:

  •  S lurred speech
  •  E xtreme shivering or muscle pain
  •  P assing no urine (in a day)
  •  S evere breathlessness
  • I  feel that I might die”
  •  S kin mottled or discoloured

For more information visit the Sepsis Trust website.

Falls prevention

Falls for web

Older people are much more likely to experience serious injury and death from falls. As we get older there are a range of factors that increase the risk of falling, such as loss of muscle strength and the side effects of medicines.

What can you do?

  • Exercise regularly to improve your balance and strength.
  • Get your eyesight and hearing checked regularly.
  • Look after your feet, wear well-fitted footwear and report any problems to your GP or chiropodist.
  • Certain medicines can make you feel faint or dizzy so talk to your GP or pharmacist if you think your medication may be affecting you in this way.
  • Keep your bones healthy by getting into the sunshine to boost your Vitamin D.
  • Eat a diet rich in calcium from dairy foods, fortified soya products or canned fish for example.
  • Make sure your home is hazard-free and well-lit.
  • If you’ve had a fall, or are worried about falling, talk to your GP who will help you regain your confidence.

Age UK has a useful guide ‘Staying Steady’ which you can download from their website.

Kidney injury

Kidney injury Web

Acute kidney injury is damage to the kidneys that causes them to stop working properly. If not spotted in time it can lead to irreversible injury which could ultimately be fatal.

What can you do?

  • If you are feeling unwell, drink plenty of water every day – it’s good for your kidneys.
  • Look out for signs of dehydration, such as confusion, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, sweats and shaking.
  • If you are unwell and not producing much urine, seek medical advice urgently.

Be especially cautious if you’re taking medicines which make the development of kidney disease more likely. Your GP will give you guidance on this and there’s more information on the ‘Think Kidneys’ website.

The colour of your urine can be a good indicator of how well hydrated you are. This ‘urine colour chart’ will help you check to see if you are drinking enough fluids, or if you need to drink more.

 

Medication safety

Medication Web

It’s estimated that up to half of all medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as the doctor who prescribed them intended.

Whether you’re taking prescription medicine, or over-the-counter medication, these safety tips are a good place to start to get the most out of your medication, and be sure that you’re using it correctly.

What can you do?

  • Keep a record of all the medicines you are taking.
  • Know why you need each medicine and what the benefits are for you.
  • If you do not understand the information, ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse.
  • Read information leaflets for any special instructions or side effects, and what to do if you have any side effects.
  • Make sure any professional who treats you knows about the medicines you are already taking, and if you have an allergy.
  • If someone you care for cannot understand and manage their medicines, make sure someone is helping them.

Find out more information on the NHS Choices website.

Pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers Web

Pressure ulcers, sometimes called ‘bedsores’ are caused when an area of skin is placed under pressure. They can range in severity from patches of discoloured skin to open wounds that expose the underlying bone or muscle. People with reduced mobility are more likely to be at risk of developing pressure ulcers.

What can you do?

  • Try to keep moving and change position regularly when sitting and in bed.
  • Look out for red patches on pressure areas, where bones are close to the skin and take the body’s weight such as hips, bottom or heels. It can also be where living aids and equipment such as wheelchairs might press and rub.
  • If you have developed a pressure ulcer, it’s important that you minimise or avoid putting any further pressure on it to give the wound the best chance of healing.
  • Aim for a healthy, balanced diet with an adequate amount of protein and a good variety of vitamins and minerals to help prevent skin damage and speed up the healing process.

Find out more at the NHS Choices website here.