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Patient safety team win prestigious award

A team of healthcare professionals at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has been awarded the Shared Learning Award for their outstanding contributions to improving patient safety.

The Trust ‘Sharing How We Care’ work was selected as the winners of the Shared Learning Award by a panel at the Patient Safety Learning Awards in London, 2019.

The award recognises the work involved in setting up an annual conference as a forum to share examples of exemplary healthcare practice and a monthly newsletter which focuses on aspects of patient’s safety, including patient experience and articles about improvements in clinical areas.

The newsletter is sent to all staff at the Trust on a monthly basis and has been met with resoundingly positive feedback. In particular, it has been instrumental in changing the way staff at the Trust think about patient safety. Information and data, which had previously been shared with various committees at the Trust but never seen by the majority of staff on the front-line, is now easily accessible and is shared in an open and transparent way.

As a result of the work through Sharing How We Care, the Trust has seen a 40% decrease in the number of serious incidents reported.

Cindy Storer, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “We’re so pleased that the work through Sharing How We Care at the Trust has been recognised. We’ve seen real improvements in the quality of the care we provide as a direct result of this shared learning. These results reflect the commitment from all of our staff to support Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals to become the safest Trust in England.”

The Trust has implemented several changes to care over the last 12 months, based on feedback received from patients, visitors and staff. The hospitals recently introduced extended visiting hours to make their patients feel more at home and to support relatives and carers to be involved in the care of their loved ones.

Other initiatives have also been implemented to make sure patients get a good night’s sleep to aid their recovery and that they have protected mealtimes where non-urgent clinical activity stops. During these mealtimes, patients are encouraged to eat out of bed, speeding up their recovery and getting them back to a normal routine.

All of these changes have been brought together in new, helpful bedside information folder for every adult inpatient and new welcome boards outside each ward now help to provide information for family, friends and carers, to ensure continued advice and support for patients after discharge.

The Trust also implemented ‘traffic light hats’ for new-born babies. A novel patient safety initiative, the hats were knitted and donated by the community in red, amber and green colour to signify the temperature needs of babies. Those born in theatres where it is colder tend to have lower body temperatures and the hats are a clear and quick indicator for staff which new-borns need closer monitoring to ensure their safety.

The appeal for knitted hats received a phenomenal response from all over the world and eventually featured on The One Show in summer. The appearance on the show helped the Trust to launch a new appeal for knitted twiddlemuffs, which help to distract patients with dementia or delirium whilst having clinical treatment.

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