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Wards set to face regular scrutiny on their patient safety records

  • 7 Comments

Trusts are to be routinely surveyed on their patient safety record for the first time from next month.

NHS South Central chief nurse and director of clinical standards Katherine Fenton told Nursing Times that surveys would take place on 15 September and then every 90 days afterwards.  

She said four harms - falls, pressure ulcers, venous thromboembolism and catheter acquired infections - would be measured at 100 organisations, with 10 taken from each strategic health authority region.

Ms Fenton said the surveys would initially be done manually but the plan was to develop an electronic system.

The National Patient Safety Agency last month urged NHS organisations to “work towards preventing all pressure ulcers”, as part of its “10 for 2010” programme, which asks trusts to concentrate efforts on 10 high risk patient safety areas, including deterioration, anticoagulation and pressure ulcers.

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • I wonder if this will include a comparison/scrutiny of staffing levels for QUALIFIED Nurses?

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  • ya thats about right something else for you to worry about,or may be passed on to your nursing aux's? or band 3's mike oh i forgot we dont do that were not nurses?

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  • Anonymous | 17-Aug-2010 4:30 pm What is your point exactly?

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  • I think the previous posters point is that it wouldn't matter how many qualified nurses were employed as it is usually the HCAs that deal with the type of problems mentioned. Mike is forever banging on about how wonderful and highly skilled nurses are when in fact all they really have to do (and yes I am generalising) is ask the HCAs to check on the patients. If more qualified nurses took the trouble to train the HCAs and to check on their own patients once in a while there wouldn't be so many problems. I remember when I trained and qualified staff were saying it would be great when HCAs could do things like dressings, obs, wound care etc because it would give us more time for proper nursing duties. I thought it was b------s at the time and it still is. Nurses have delegated roles to HCAs but haven't realised they still have accountability, and sitting at the nurses station browsing the net is not proper nursing. Staffing levels are better now than they were 20 years ago and yet there were not as many falls, catheter infections, DVTs or pressure ulcers then, because nurses did what they were paid to do which was to NURSE.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Aug-2010 9:21 am, staffing levels are better now than they were? You are joking right? Seriously? I don't want to sound insulting but are you even working as a Nurse anymore?

    Nursing now is a completely different profession to what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Staffing levels are WORSE, not better, plus trained Nurses have 10 times as much paperwork and admin, a vast amount more of clinical tasks to perform, etc etc etc, and that all translates to less time with the patients.

    And if you read the evidence, you will find that it DOES matter how many registered Nurses are employed. It has been proven over and over that patient safety is directly linked to the amount of QUALIFIED staff there are, the lower the Nurse patient ratio the better. More enlightened countries like Australia and some states in the US have actually had this evidence enshrined in legal Nurse/patient ratios. The UK is really backward on that one.

    And a HCA CANNOT do what a trained staff Nurse can do. A band 3 or 4 can do a lot of basic clinical skills yes, and I welcome this (providing that the education/quals are up to par and they SHOULD be accountable for their actions, but thats another debate), but there are simply a lot of things they CANNOT do! Legally at the very least! Dispense medication for just one example. The current trend of trying to save money by employing a few band 4's and trying to get them to work outside of their competencies instead of hiring a Staff Nurse is wrong, and it IS affecting patient safety! You can have an army of HCA's on a ward with say 40 patients, if you stick just 1 RN on instead of say 5 or 6 RN's (as an ideal) then care WILL suffer as there is only so much one person can do, it is as simple as that.

    Your point that Nurses only ask the HCA to check up on the patient, yes we do, but who has to take over when things go wrong or something untoward is reported? Oh suddenly the RN is needed again!

    If they truly want patient safety, then they should legalise a Nurse/patient ratio, 1 Staff Nurse, and 1 HCA for every 6 patients would be ideal!

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  • Steve Williams

    Hmmm... Anonymous | 20-Aug-2010 9:21 am - Nurse Staffing and Patient Safety.

    So the qualified nurse to patient staffing levels aren’t important. Have a quick look at this film my “local” hospital, over here in Hamilton Ontario, made on the subject - based on some nationwide ‘research’ and not just subjective opinion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAk8g7Ah22I&feature=related

    It speaks volumes eh? Bet you'd love to work for the Hamilton Health Sciences Network eh? It's not an exception either – it's pretty much the norm around here.

    mike's right. I’ve been away from the UK for over a decade now but even back in the 90‘s the staffing levels were appalling. Sounds like they haven't got any better.

    I am so glad I made the move back to Canada!

    And before anyone raises the subject, Canada has a similar health system of funding as the NHS in the UK where National Insurance contributions are deducted at source.

    The report is significant in that it specifies that “nurse staffing involves more than just the number of nurses, it's about the right mix of education, experience and skills.”

    Note that Jennifer Wiernikowski actually points out that, although baccalaureate prepared nurses are now becoming the norm in the province there is still a need for the experience that non-degree educated RNs can bring to the front-line...

    Suddenly I feel valued again! :)

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  • Mike put us all out of our misery please and go do further studies to become a Medical Practiioner, or better still take up a Management roll and TRY to make a difference instead of as a previous scribe no sorry NURSE suggested that you stop banging on about everything. I bet you are a right pain in the A**E to work with!

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