The NHS in north Cumbria supports World Patient Safety Day

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The NHS in north Cumbria supports World Patient Safety Day

Posted on Tuesday 17th September 2019
Patient Safety Day Head-shots

The first ever WHO (World Health Organization) World Patient Safety Day is taking place on 17 September 2019, and the NHS in north Cumbria will be joining in to promote safe services for patients in north Cumbria.

Anna Stabler, Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS North Cumbria CCG, said: “No one should be harmed when accessing health and care services, and so we’re keen to use World Patient Safety Day to spread the message that patient safety is an absolute priority for everyone working in healthcare in north Cumbria.

“We all have the power to improve safety by embracing practices such as good incident reporting, effective infection prevention and control, and tackling antimicrobial resistance.

“There have been some great initiatives in north Cumbria recently to improve patient safety, and we’ll be sharing as many examples of this as possible throughout the day to encourage this way of thinking.”

This week is also north Cumbria’s NHS annual patient safety summit with a focus this year on "Medication without harm.”

Ruth O’Dowd, Consultant anaesthetist and Clinical Director for Patient Safety, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Our patient safety summit on the 19th September is a great opportunity for staff of all professions and disciplines across north Cumbria's health and social care community to come and learn together and develop our networks so that we can continue to make improvements and share good practice.

“We are very honoured to host national speakers; Richard Cattell the Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer delivering a keynote speech, and Chief Pharmacist at NHS Improvement and Nicola Wake from NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service who will be presenting a workshop on national medicines safety themes. 

“Patient safety is a priority for the Trust and we continue to develop and support initiatives to ensure that our staff have the tools and learning to ensure our patients are kept safe.”

Dr Vince Connelly, system medical director added:

“World Patient Safety Day is an opportunity for us to think about how we promote a safety culture in our teams. I would encourage all our teams to make a commitment to improve safety and to follow it up at team meetings and to share with me personally so that we can all support each other to deliver excellence.”

Along with a number of initiatives the NHS in north Cumbria also encourages patients to share their own stories at the Care Group Educational days and there are regular Patient Safety reflections at leadership meetings

Some examples of recent work in north Cumbria that have improved patient safety include:

The roll out of NEWS2:

NEWS2 is the latest version of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS). It is a system that helps staff identify deteriorating patients quickly and is used by medical staff to standardise the assessment and response of people who are acutely ill.

"Stop the Line"

This is a campaign to encourage staff to speak up for safety.

It empowers all staff members to question or seek clarity and, if required, to stop any clinical activity that could cause further harm. This ‘stop’ continues until the safety concern is resolved. A senior staff member can then undertake a review to ensure any learning is shared.

Stop and Watch

Stop and Watch is an Early Warning Tool that everyone can use to help spot the warning signs that a person’s condition is deteriorating.

By recognising these signs, people can reduce a person’s risk of morbidity, further disability, organ failure, or sometimes even death. 

The Early Warning Tool was developed following the publication of a local north Cumbria learning review that replicated national work, which highlighted issues where patients could have been helped sooner to seek medical assistance. This was particularly noted in those patients with a learning disability, as the characteristics and symptoms associated with their condition potentially masked symptoms of other underlying health problems, meaning they could can go undiagnosed and lead to serious health issues.

Raising awareness of these symptoms means that appropriate medical treatment can be provided as soon as possible, to avoid deterioration of condition.

Resources relating to this initiative can be found as follows:

Information leaflet|

Poster designed to be displayed in healthcare settings|

Short animation|

Stop and Watch webpage| 

Stomp / stamp

STOMP stands for: Stopping The Over-Medication of children and young People with a learning disability, autism or both. STAMP stands for: Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics.

The Medical Director of North Cumbria NHS CCG Dr David Rogers signed a pledge in support of STOMP and STAMP. This is to make sure children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both are able to access appropriate medication (in line with NICE guidance), but are not prescribed inappropriate physchotropic medication.

To uphold the pledge, regular and timely reviews should be undertaken so that the effectiveness of the medication is evidenced and balanced against potential side effects. This will mean that children and young people are only getting the right medication, at the right time, for the right reason. 

You can read the full pledge| on our website, along with further information| about the initiative.  

No place like home

Health and care services in north Cumbria are all working closer together to get patients home as soon as it’s safe to do so, as evidence shows that people not only often recover quicker at home, but also that it is safer for them to recover there. Although hospital is the right place for some treatments, long term health conditions can lead to stays in hospital that could be avoided if support is available in the community.

Ways that the No Place At Home initiative can improve patient safety include:

Physical strength – when people stay in bed for long periods they lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength – making it harder to regain independence. Getting up, dressed and moving helps maintain muscle strength and people’s ability to do things for themselves.

Rest – Sleep is the body’s time to rebuild and it’s even more important to have quality sleep when recovering. Hospitals are busy places with lights, talking and noises from equipment, which can cause sleep deprivation. There’s no bed like your own bed when it comes to a good night’s sleep.

Mental wellbeing – being in familiar surroundings with support from loved ones is one of the best things for mental wellbeing. Hospitals are unfamiliar and can be very confusing which increases the risk of developing delirium.

Infection – when people are unwell they often have reduced resistance to infections. Our hospitals do everything they can to lower the risk of developing an infection but the risk is usually even lower at home where there are fewer unwell people under one roof.

You can find out more about the No Place Like Home initiative (including case studies) here|.

Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project

This initiative is driven by a group of people and organisations who want to reduce the amount of people having a stroke in our area. They work to highlight the risk factors that people can avoid in their everyday lifestyles that can contribute to having a stroke.

It is believed around 80 per cent of strokes are potentially preventable. The group has carried out a number of activities to help people find out if they have risk factors that can be identified and treated, and also raise awareness of lifestyle factors that can increase risk of stroke.

They have worked with pharmacies to offer free drop in testing in those areas where people have been identified as higher risk and have held events in Whitehaven and Distington to offer free health checks and health advice. 

More information on this initiative can be found here:


Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project Report|

Healthcare organisations up and down the country will be promoting patient safety, and you can find out more about World Patient Safety Day 2019 by visiting the World Health Organization website, here:|

Posted on Tuesday 17th September 2019


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