Hospital improves its safety
DERRIFORD Hospital has been recognised for improving patient safety following a breach in surgical standards.
The theatres team was highly commended in the 'changing culture' category of the Patient Safety Awards 2012 in London.
It comes after health watchdogs the Care Quality Commission (CQC) warned Derriford to tighten up or risk prosecution after an unannounced inspection in February last year. Inspectors had found some surgical teams were failing to complete key safety checklists. The visit followed Derriford reporting six so-called 'never events' in a year – four involving swabs being left inside patients.
The CQC gave the hospital the all clear in April last year following a re-inspection.
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Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust was shortlisted for the awards for its entry 'Putting safety into practice – crossing the reality gap'.
The work was led by assistant medical director Paul McArdle, patient safety lead Amelia Brooks and senior theatre matron Cindy McConnachie.
Mr McArdle said: "We were delighted to find out that we have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. We provide very high standards of clinical care at our hospital and sites.
"When it was identified that there was a problem and that some of our theatres were not fully compliant with the checklist we set to work to put this right straight away. We are very proud to say the initiative has resulted in improved patient safety with no never events in our theatres within the last year."
He said the hospital's new approach has been adopted across the region as a result.
"All of this would not have been possible if it wasn't for the theatre teams who have worked extremely hard and went to great lengths to implement further improvements."