Reward for improving ward safety

Health bosses are celebrating after winning an award for improving the safety of patients in its hospitals.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust won the ‘Patient Safety in Acute Care Award’ at the Patient Safety Awards 2013 for its highly-successful approach, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and has reduced potential harm to patients.

A random sample of 40 patient case notes across all areas of the trust are analysed every month to look at where safety improvements could be made.

The team – made up of a range of health experts – used the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool as it is validated as a measure of incidents of harm that occur in healthcare settings.

The trust said the work has led to initiatives being put in place for the benefit of patients.

Dr Dan Higham, consultant physician who has led the project, said: “We are delighted that we have been recognised on a national stage for this approach.

“The award is testament to the commitment and dedication of the team who have worked so hard over the last three years to improve care, reduce harm and deliver real benefits to our patients.

“This work is just one part of a range of initiatives in place to improve patient safety.”