Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust today (Friday) welcomed a national report into patient safety and the culture of incident reporting in NHS Trusts.
The Trust encourages its doctors, nurses and managers to report any incidents or events which cause staff concern. By reporting these events, it enables the Trust to investigate both the infrequent high risk events and those commonly occurring, low risk events. Our staff are encouraged to make professional judgements about when and where patient safety could be improved and the Trust uses these reports to reduce risks across the organisation.
All incidents are reported nationally through the National Learning and Reporting Service.
The main findings of the report show that:
– patient care and safety at the Trust has been greatly improved by a culture of reporting incidents as they happen
– The Trust has the highest rate of reporting incidents of any comparable Trust. This means that our staff place emphasis on continuous learning and improvement.
– The Trust’s safety culture has ensured that during the past year there have been no incidents which have led to avoidable patient deaths.
Alison Diamond, associate medical director said, “Patient safety is of the highest importance for the Trust and we welcome evidence that we have successfully developed a culture which promotes the reporting of incidents that occur.
Promoting a culture of reporting means we can continually improve patient care. Investigating incidents also means we can stop similar events happening again and identify learning that will improve patient care in future.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said, “There is strong evidence that high reporting levels reflect a strong safety culture not poor performance. Where incidents are reported it gives clinical teams the information they need to address any underlying safety issues in order to further improve the quality and safety of the services they provide.”
From April to September 2008, the report shows the Trust as having the highest reporting rate of comparable Trusts. This is nationally a positive rather than a negative marker and it supports the priority the Trust on learning and improvement.