East Cheshire Trust: Maintaining patient safety in times of escalation – an organisational approach

When hospitals are under severe operational pressures, the primary burden of work traditionally falls to clinical staff. But with half of its workforce non-clinical, leaders at East Cheshire Trust realised they were missing an opportunity to engage all employees in managing pressures.

Initially, an outreach team was developed within the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Members of this team proactively visit the wards to speak to patients.

This makes it possible to identify any problems early on, and to take real time action to improve experience. Since the team was introduced, there has been a 29 per cent year on year reduction in ward based complaints.

Following on from this initiative, 30 members of the corporate governance team completed additional training enabling them to assist at meal times during periods of hospital escalation.

Similarly, members of the human resources and finance teams now act as “runners” for accident and emergency, the wards and pharmacy during such periods. A rota is established and, should the trust declare Opel Level 3, they leave their regular work and report to Silver Command to be deployed as needed.

More non-clinical teams are now volunteering to do the same.

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Click here for more details on the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2018.


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