At the heart of all patient safety initiatives lies the ultimate aim of a zero avoidable harm NHS environment. It may involve everything from improving communication between teams, to reviewing staff mix, to encouraging patients to speak up about risk. Some risks we know and understand – yet we fail to act to reduce them. Some we don’t and they will become apparent only when we look at safety incidents systematically. But whether we are dealing with known or unknown risks, there is a need for a culture in which staff can act on risks, report them and know that their reports will be investigated dispassionately and thoroughly.
This award is all about driving up patient safety. It will recognise not just initiatives focused on identifying a risk and reducing it, but also work to introduce a culture in which incidents are reliably reported, investigated and learnt from. This is a category celebrating the teams making progress towards that zero avoidable harm environment.
- A clear rationale for the initiative
- An explanation of how the initiative drew on existing best practice
- Clear and convincing evidence that the initiative has improved safety – for instance, evidence drug admissions or errors have fallen; falls have reduced; communication failings have been eliminated
- Evidence the initiative has led to better patient care, improved experience, improved outcomes and/or improved value for money. This must have a quantitative aspect, but can include qualitative feedback as well.
- Patient safety initiatives which have spread beyond the team in which they originated. This could be to other wards or departments, or to other organisations. Alternatively, evidence that the work is potentially scalable and replicable.
- Evidence the initiative has delivered financial savings alongside improved patient experience.
- Quantitative evidence of improved value should be supplied.
- An explanation of how of a strong team- or organisation-wide safety culture has been introduced
- A culture in which all staff feel able to raise risks and have confidence they will be acted upon
- Patient involvement in increasing safety