A trust project received a high commendation in the annual Health Service Journal Patient Safety awards last night.
The team – represented by Deputy Head of Physiotherapy Ellie Newton and Deputy Head of Occupational Therapy Lisa Langford – was shortlisted in the Deteriorating Patients and Rapid Response Initiative of the Year category. Their project was entitled “Integrated community team therapists identifying the deteriorating patient in the home setting”.
The project used a Quality Improvement (QI) approach to understand and solve the problem of patients who were under the care of the therapy teams in Integrated Community Teams not being identified or escalated to appropriate levels of care in a timely manner. It was identified that the problem stemmed from a lack of knowledge, equipment and confidence of the therapists in undertaking the NEWS2 assessment in the community and then communicating it in a succinct and consistent manner to Rapid Response and GPs in order to escalate care to the appropriate level for the patient in a timely way.
Therapists in ICTs were taught how to take baseline clinical observations during their community visits to patients at home using appropriate clinical equipment and then to communicate findings to their medical colleagues across the system including Rapid Response and GPs.
The changes were tested and gradually rolled out across all teams in the county. There is currently a growing demand from other specialist teams to also benefit from this approach.
Results showed a huge increase in the confidence of therapists visiting deteriorating patients at home and patients now have less time to wait at home when they are deteriorating waiting for a clinical decision to be made. Appropriate patients can now get the medical care they need in a more timely fashion and better patient outcomes and safety have been achieved.
Last year the project group was asked to present at the prestigious Bristol Patient Safety Conference before being submitted for HSJ Awards this year.
The project was led by Lisa Langford, Deputy Head of Profession for Occupational therapy and Kirsty Greaves/Ellie Newton, Deputy Heads of Profession for Physiotherapy alongside numerous clinical colleagues from the ICTs and the project was coached using QI methodology by Jenny Smith, Quality Improvement Manager.