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25/08/13 10:29

Patient safety

Ten essential actions for safe healthcare

Ten new patient safety essentials are to be rolled out for use by all NHS Staff.

Health Secretary Alex Neil will launch the set of ‘must do’ patient safety essentials at a conference on the Scottish Patient Safety Programme this week.

The list sets out ten of the most successful elements of the patient safety programme which have been implemented widely across the NHS.

The list aims to ensure they will now be implemented by every member of staff, for every patient receiving hospital care.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme conference on Wednesday, Mr Neil said:

“Everyone in Scotland has the right to expect the highest quality care, where and when they need it.

“Scotland is the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system and has some of the safest hospitals in the world, and I am committed to ensuring that this continues.

“These ten patient safety essentials encompass the principles of our safety programme and are measures which are evidence based and proven to help ensure patient safety.

“The Scottish Patient Safety Programme has worked with NHS boards to create and test these actions and they are ready to be rolled out across Scotland.

“That is why I am instructing boards to ensure that these measures are implemented consistently.

“This will ensure that patient safety is the top priority for every member of staff, and that every patient receives the best possible care.”

The list includes a number of areas where good practice should be followed, such as hand washing and communication in the ward or theatre, as well as a number of evidence based ‘bundles’ of care which are collections of interventions and checks to improve both quality and safety of care.

Every item on the list is evidence based and has been developed and refined over time in collaboration between the Scottish Government, Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Scottish Patient Safety Programme and clinicians across NHSScotland.

Susan Went, Director of Evidence and Improvement for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, who manage the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, said:

“We are now raising the bar on patient safety in Scotland. As a result of the first five years work to embed safety within our acute hospitals, the 10 essentials are the actions that have been shown to work most consistently and comprehensively. Based upon this information, we are confident to recommend to the Scottish Government that these actions be moved from testing and become patient safety ‘must dos’ for NHS Scotland.

“Evidence from the Scottish Patient Safety Programme shows that these actions work and patients across Scotland can now benefit from the work that we’ve carried out.”

Notes to editors

The full patient safety essentials are listed below.

Hand Washing

Hands will be washed at all of the World Health Organisation ‘5 Moments’

  • Before touching a patient
  • Before clean/aseptic procedures
  • After bodily fluid exposure risk
  • After touching patient
  • After touching a patient’s immediate surroundings.

Leadership Walk Rounds

Leadership walk rounds will take place. This will strengthen the opportunity for senior leaders to obtain learning and oversight of the safety issues, and work closely with patients and front line carers to further create and support the capability for leaning and therefore improvement at scale within Scottish Hospitals.

Surgical Pause and Brief

Surgical Briefing: a pre-operative list briefing will be held including all members of the surgical team. This aims to ensure that the entire team understand the expectations for the list and for each procedure.

Surgical Pause: a pre-operative pause will take place before every surgery. This is an opportunity to cover the surgical checklist and act as a final reminder of items that must be completed prior to commencement of the operation.

General Ward Safety Brief

On every ward, every day a short team briefing will take place when ward staff will gather together to highlight any patient or equipment safety issues for the day or shift.

Intensive Care Unit Daily Goals

Every patient in an Intensive Care Unit will have a set of daily goals agreed and documented in the case notes. This supports communications between teams, plans patient care and supports the delivery of good practice care bundles and interventions.

Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) Bundle

Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) is a pneumonia infection acquired during mechanical ventilation, this evidence based bundle of care will be administered to all patients daily to prevent VAP.

Early Warning Scoring

The Early Warning Scoring is a simple series of observations used by nursing and medical staff to determine the degree of illness of a patient, identify patients who may need closer monitoring or more intensive levels of treatment.

Central Venous Catheter (CVC) Insertion

A Central Venous Catheter (CVC) commonly known as a central line, is a plastic tubing or drip used to administer medicines or fluids into large veins of the body.

An evidence based CVC insertion bundle to prevent central line associated blood steam infections will be used every time central lines are inserted.

CVC Maintenance

An evidence based CVC maintenance bundle to prevent central line associated blood steam infections will be used every day on every patient.

Peripheral Venous Cannula (PVC) Bundle

PVC (Peripheral Venous Cannula) is a plastic tubing or drip used to administer medicines or fluids into smaller veins of the body.

An evidence based PVC maintenance bundle to prevent blood steam infections will be used every day on every patient.