£500K S.A.F.E. scheme

Lancaster Guardian - Letters - RLI
Lancaster Guardian - Letters - RLI

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust is one of seven new sites joining a flagship programme which aims to reduce preventable death and error occurring in children’s departments throughout the UK.

The £0.5m Situation Awareness for Everyone (S.A.F.E) programme, led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), trials a suite of quality improvement techniques including the ‘huddle’ - a brief free, frank exchange of information between clinical and non-clinical professionals involved in a patient’s care – in a bid to encourage information sharing and to equip professionals with the skills to spot when a child’s condition is deteriorating as well as prevent missed diagnoses.

The two year programme, now in its second phase after testing at 12 hospitals including six flagship Children Hospitals in England, will also see Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital, Great North Children’s Hospital, University Hospital Southampton and York District Hospital working with the RCPCH to implement these techniques.

Funded as part of the Health Foundation’s Closing the Gap in Patient Safety programme, with additional support from WellChild and UCLPartners, the programme aims to: · Reduce avoidable error and harm to acutely sick children by 2016

· Improve communication between all healthcare professionals involved in a child’s care as well as families to ensure treatment is consistent and of the same high standard regardless of postcode or class

· Close the disparity in health outcomes for children in UK vs other countries as well as between children’s care and adult care· Involve parents, children and young people to be better involved in their children’s/own care

Dr Clare L Peckham, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Lead for Paediatrics at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, said: “With current estimates suggesting that there are currently 2,000 healthcare and non-healthcare amenable deaths each year, there is a clear need to reduce avoidable error in childhood care, and so we are delighted to be welcoming this project to our Hospital.

“By using methods such as the Huddle, communication between our doctors, nurses and staff is sure to improve and therefore help ensure treatment is consistent.

“We are particularly keen to increase situational awareness of the care and management of sick babies and children in order to promote a culture of quality improvement and patient safety in every day practice, and believe this programme can help us reach this goal.

“The programme has already proved to be a success in its first phase and we are greatly looking forward to working with the RCPCH to help implement these techniques.”

Dr Peter Lachman, Clinical Lead for S.A.F.E and member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “We hope through the success of this programme at University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay we will be able to roll it out wider.”