Pilgrim managers ‘inspired’ by nurses

Pilgrim nurses learning Safety Express procedures
Pilgrim nurses learning Safety Express procedures

PATIENTS at Pilgrim Hospital may have every reason to be concerned about the care they receive, following a number of damning verdicts from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Earlier this month the regulating body issued the results of an investigation, stating that although the Spilsby Road hospital was on the road to improvement, there was much which still needed to be done to ensure patients were receiving the required level of care.

But this week, senior staff at Pilgrim have spoken of the improvements which are now underway to reassure patients they will be cared for in the best possible way.

One of the most important schemes which has now come into place is the Safety Express programme, which has been in place at the hospital since April.

The scheme, which started out as a national programme, targets four key areas – falls, pressure ulcers, blood clots and catheter-related urinary infections – and looks at how to reduce the instances of these within the hospital. Pilgrim has taken it a step further.

Patient safety manager Dr Steve Cross told The Standard: “It was only there to measure patient harm and was in place in most hospitals, but we didn’t think that was enough. We realised we needed to go further. We wanted to see how reliable we were in how we care for our patients on the ward.”

In a move triggered by Safety Express, Pilgrim now ensures that it risk assesses each and every patient who goes through A&E or who is staying in one of the 547 beds on the wards. Individual care plans can then be created to ensure people’s individual needs are met, based on a list of around 60 different factors.

So far, the results have been promising, with almost 100 per cent of patients now receiving risk assessments when they arrive at the hospital, and improvements have been seen in all areas. The number has increased dramatically since the programme began and Pilgrim is showing figures above the national average in many areas.

Dr Cross said: “I think most people are confident patients are being cared for, but that doesn’t mean we have done enough. In my job I want to make sure that all of the patients are safe all of the time.”

A lot of work has taken place already in connection with Safety Express, but there is still more to be done. Parts of the continuing programme will see ward sisters getting together once a month to share data about various care factors and seeing how they can improve.

Dr Cross said he believed that the nurses and ward staff had really taken the idea of Safety Express to heart. He added that he had been ‘inspired’ by their response and eagerness to improve.

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