²gether NHS Foundation Trust (²gether) has taken the regional lead on an innovative new patient safety programme for mental health services in England.
Sir Ian Carruthers, the recently appointed chief executive of the new NHS South of England Strategic Health Authority, has asked Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of the Trust, to lead the programme.
The Trust is currently piloting the initiative, which is in collaboration with the Institute of Health Innovation, the US health improvement organisation.
The programme focuses on giving staff the tools and techniques to identify gaps in safety before any incidents occur.
Staff are using an approach of ‘plan, do, study, act’ which enables them to try out and test practical ways of improving safety and measure the difference they’ve made.
The programme has a range of goals, from reducing the number of falls, to ensuring 95% of service users have a check up with a member of staff within 48 hours of leaving hospital.
Initiatives include using specialist new equipment such as pressure sensitive mats which alert staff when older adult patients are trying to get out of bed. Safety Walkrounds allow members of the Trust Executive team to meet clinical colleagues in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to speak directly with staff about safety in clinical area and how it can be improved.
Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, says: “I am delighted that we are to lead on this ambitious new national programme. The safety of the people who use our services is the highest priority, not just for me, but all our staff at ²gether.”
Dr Paul Winterbottom, Medical Director for the Trust says: “People living in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire must be able to rely on us offering safe, effective care to them, their families and friends.
“Organisations collect data which highlights what works well and what has not gone to plan. But this is after an incident has happened – we want to also get in there and stop the incident occurring in the first place.
“It’s national Patient Safety Week this week, which is all about eliminating avoidable harm. I’m very pleased that this new programme will be giving our staff the tools and approaches they need to achieve this.”