Avoid harm

safer care

Avoid harm

Our Quality Strategy 2015-18 and 2015-16 Quality Report referenced this key quality goal as ‘Safe care’.

TARGET: Patient Safety Thermometer 99% harm free care

Where are we now?

The NHS Patient Safety Thermometer is used across all relevant acute wards. This tool looks at point prevalence of four key harms (falls, pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE)) in all patients on a specific day in the month. It distinguishes between harms that have occurred prior to admission such as falls in care homes and those that have occurred since admission, known as ‘new harms’.

The harm-free care score for the Trust in October was 94.4%, better than the target of 93.8% (target based on national average for 2014/15).

The Safety Thermometer includes harms suffered by the patient in healthcare settings prior to admission. The actual number of patients with no new harms during their inpatient stay at WSHFT was 98.7%. The national average is currently 97.7%. 


Latest data available: To October 2016 (source: Health and Social Care Information Centre)

This year’s improvement stories

Draft priorities for 2017/18



Reducing the number of falls within hospital

A reduction in in-hospital falls continues as a major improvement area for the Trust in 2017/18 continuing the breakthrough objective project which commenced in 2016/17.   The programme will continue to expand this year with a target of 30% reduction in in-hospitals falls (from baseline of 2015/16) over the next year. This work will be supported by the Patient First Improvement System.

Target: 30% reduction in falls in 2017-18. 



Skin damage / pressure ulcer reduction

Focused work to reduce harm from skin damage will continue to build on the work commenced this year when the new pressure ulcer risk assessment tool ‘Purpose T’ was implemented across the Trust. The increased awareness and scrutiny of skin damage resulting from the education which supported the implementation has seen reported harm rise during 2016/17.

Target: We will deliver a target of 10% reduction in grade 2+ avoidable pressure damage from the 2016/17 baseline.



Medicines Optimisation Programme including antimicrobial resistance programme

The year we will continue to roll out our Medicines Optimisation Strategy that sets out the vision and goals for development and quality improvement in all aspects of medicines use.  We will establish a system within the trust to ensure all antibiotics prescribed are reviewed by 72 hours and have the review decision documented and auditable (Sepsis and AMS CQUINs).

Target:  Reduce total antimicrobial consumption by 1%, carbapenem prescribing by 1% and Tazocin prescribing by 1%




Diagnostic Resulting Programme

We have convened a programme board to scope and implement a robust and consistent Trust-wide programme to ensure that all ordered diagnostic tests are undertaken, reviewed, acted upon, escalated appropriately and finally communicated to the patient/GP within the timeframe required.  This will help to prevent delayed diagnosis and treatment and reduce the number of repeat diagnostics undertaken.

Target:  Further progress with specification, procurement and implementation of a new diagnostic resulting programme over the next 3-5 years.


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