Health secretary discusses innovations in patient safety at hospital trust

Jeremy Hunt and Fiona Dalton

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Southampton’s university hospitals earlier today (Friday) to find out more about innovations in patient safety across the organisation.

He was invited to attend a session of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s internal medical examiners’ group (IMEG), which reviews all in-hospital deaths to ensure extensive understanding of the circumstances of each case.

Chaired by the medical director for patient safety, it is held twice a day and involves discussing a patient’s clinical presentation, the situation which led to their death and end of life care and a decision on whether or not referral to the coroner is appropriate.

He was also informed of the trust’s pioneering prehabilitation project led by experts in critical care which involves tailored exercise programmes for patients prior to major cancer surgery to reduce complications and readmissions.

In addition, UHS chief executive Fiona Dalton highlighted the introduction of the favourable event reporting form (FERF) – developed by clinicians at UHS – which enables staff to report on positive outcomes and developments to learn from as opposed to focusing solely on negative incidents.

She also discussed reductions in high harm falls, pressure ulcers and acute kidney injury across the organisation, as well the trust’s selection as one of 12 national digital centres of excellence and the recent creation of an automatic alert system for glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes.

Mr Hunt then gave a 30-minute presentation to clinical and operational staff on patient safety improvements nationally and praised the creation of IMEG – which he believed to be a unique system within the NHS – and the trust’s recent Care Quality Commission rating of ‘good’ with outstanding features.

He said: "It was fascinating to hear from staff at University Hospital Southampton about their smart, innovative approach to improving patient safety.

"The enthusiasm and commitment among staff to learn from all patient outcomes – good and bad – was very clear to see and this is exactly the attitude we need if we are to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world."

Ms Dalton added: “I am so proud of the achievements and progress being made in patient safety by staff across our organisation on a daily basis and I am extremely pleased to have had the chance to demonstrate some of that innovation with the secretary of state.”

Posted on Friday 14 July 2017