Patient safety is central to everything we do and we have recently made a number of improvements across the trust to make our accommodation as safe as we can for our patients.
We’ve reduced the number of falls on our wards and have put measures in place to constantly review our working practices to protect our patients. However, we are not complacent and are always looking to identify new ways to further improve patient safety.
In 2009/10 we’re participating in the Leading Improvement in Patient Safety programme as part of the work of the Institute of Innovation and Improvement national programme on patient safety. We are currently the only mental health and learning disability trust to be invited to participate in the programme. This will build on work we have already undertaken with the institute to identify a procedure that helps identify common potential risk and harm issues to our service users as part of planning their care. These procedures are known as ‘global trigger tools’ and are an innovation in mental health and learning disability care.
As part of this work we will identify ‘breakthrough’ target areas of patient care improvement. In addition to the issue of violence and aggression we’re also considering the further improvement of the use of our care programme approach, as this has been highlighted in a number of our serious untoward incident reviews as an issue. We also want to begin to work with our staff and service users in agreeing the definition and meaning of ‘what is harm’ in a mental health and learning disability context. This will allow us to do further patient improvement safety work to reduce harm.