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Sign up to Safety

Listen, Learn, Act

Hospitals win £800,000 of funding for safety projects

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded more than £800,000 to invest in patient safety projects at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals.

The successful bids for funding came as part of our commitment to the national patient safety campaign 'Sign up to Safety', which aims to strengthen safety across the whole NHS.
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West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) has committed to listening to patients, carers and staff, learning from what they say when things go wrong and taking action to improve patients’ safety.

Sign up to Safety is a national programme designed to help realise the ambition of making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world by creating a system devoted to continuous learning and improvement.

This ambition is bigger than any individual or organisation and achieving it requires us all to unite behind this common purpose. We need to give patients confidence that we are doing all we can to ensure that the care they receive will be safe and effective at all times.

Sign up to Safety aims to deliver harm free care for every patient, every time, everywhere. It champions openness and honesty and supports everyone to improve the safety of patients.

Sign up to Safety’s three year objective is to reduce avoidable harm by 50% and save 6,000 lives.

The five Sign up to Safety pledges

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has signed up to the campaign and our commitment to the five pledges is:

1. Putting safety first

We commit to:

  • Working with patients as partners in preventing harm by encouraging engagement and involvement;
  • Implementing a plan to follow all NICE guidelines for VTE;
  • Delivering full compliance to the hygiene code and aiming not to exceed the trajectories for the number of hospital acquired infections;
  • Following the Sepsis Six care bundle to improve the management, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis;
  • Aiming to reduce the number of pressure sores across the Trust by 80%;
  • Implementing a falls transformation programme to reduce patient harm in hospital by 20%.

2. Continually learning

We commit to:

  • Openness and transparency and our published quality account and board reports reflecting our areas for improvement;
  • Using our mortality reviews, complaints, incidents and serious incidents to become proactive in the understanding of the reasons of patient harm;
  • Implementing our complaints transformation programme throughout our hospitals;
  • Listening to feedback and where necessary making changes to the way our services are delivered;
  • Implementing the use of real time feedback from our patients providing a rapid response to areas and identify common themes for improvement.

3. Honesty

We will continue to:

  • Provide opportunities for staff to feedback on their own experiences of working in our hospitals;
  • Develop "Onion" as a way of encouraging staff to raise issues or concerns, and "peeling back the layers" of problems in an open and transparent manner;
  • Have weekly "Talk Time" sessions where all staff, patients, volunteers and visitors can raise concerns;
  • Publish a newsletter for sharing the lessons learned from incidents and serious harms to our patients;
  • Undertake training programmes for our consultant body about the importance of openness to ensure our commitment to Duty of Candour for patients.

4. Collaborating

We will continue to:

  • Be an active participant with the National Safety Programme and ensure all our safety programmes include collaboration with the Patient Association and Healthwatch;
  • Work in partnership with our community and commissioning partners to ensure system wide patient safety;
  • Continue our partnership with UCLP to ensure our programmes of improvement and shared intelligence become embedded throughout our hospitals. This will include recognising a deteriorating patient and trying to reduce avoidable cardiac arrests.

5. Supporting

We will continue to:

  • Support our transformation programme, which covers the redesign of internal systems of the organisation and a system wide health economy solution working with partners to deliver the key organisational priorities:
    • continuous improvement in quality of care;
    • clinical sustainability;
    • financial viability.
  • Embed Our Developing our Organisation programme to ensure our staff have defined values and specific behaviours which everyone working in our hospitals is expected to live up to;
  • Encourage our staff and patients to nominate colleagues or contractors working at our hospitals who have gone the extra mile for our Staff Awards, to show how our values can make a difference
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