At the opening of our Memory Loss Café in May 2015, for carers of dementia patients, The Mayor and Mayoress of Runnymede, Cllr Derek Coty and Mrs Susan Jones, with carer, Marjorie Nesbitt.
Every year hospital trusts are required to produce a Quality Account which is a detailed report on the quality of their healthcare services and future priorities. Our full Quality Account is available on our website; we have summarised some of our key achievements this year.
Improving dementia care – dementia is a common condition affecting about 800,000 people in the UK and rising. Patients coming into hospital who have dementia need more skilled assessment and care. This year we appointed a specialist dementia nurse, have introduced more training for staff and are reviewing our wider Dementia Strategy.
Safe, high quality discharge – patients tell us their experience of being discharged from hospital is not always as good as it should be. We want to discharge more patients earlier in the day with more discharged before 2.00 pm (5 wards are now achieving this for 50% of their patients). We have also speeded up discharge summaries to GPs and are putting more focus on patients who need complex care packages.
Improving patient communication – we want to continue to engage well with patients and ensure they have the information they need to support their care. This year we’ve focused particularly on complaints and have undertaken an in-depth review of our complaints process and complaint responses, working closely with Healthwatch Surrey.
Improving our safety culture – we are improving the way we report incidents and working to encourage an open and transparent culture with safety a key priority – in their inspection the CQC commented that quality and safety were a clear priority, specifically picking out our positive reporting culture.
Improving harm-free care – using the national measuring programme, the Safety Thermometer, we are able to benchmark the rate of avoidable harm (e.g. pressure ulcers, falls that cause harm) compared to others and have achieved lower rates (1.9%) against the national average (2.4%).
Rebecca Bushby, our VTE (venous thrombo-embolism) specialist nurse
Reducing hospital-acquired blood clots – blood clots can cause long-term complications and even death but many cases associated with hospital admission are preventable. Led by our Specialist Nurse, we have increased the number of risk assessments given to patients on admission (from 96.3% last year to 97.8%), and continue to roll out comprehensive training to staff.
Improving care for patients with sepsis – we have introduced the ‘Sepsis Six’ bundle for patients coming to A&E with sepsis – these are elements of care which, when given within an hour of diagnosis, can significantly improve outcomes for patients.
Improving care for patients with diabetes – with rising numbers, we want to improve screening for diabetes for patients coming into hospital; we did this for 90% of patients, although we had set ourselves a target of 98% and diabetes will continue to be a priority area for next year.
Reducing readmission rates – it’s important for patients to have good support after discharge to avoid being readmitted into hospital. We are working to reduce readmission rates (within 30 days of discharge) but this is challenging. Our readmission rate for the year is 12.6%, just over our target of below 12.4%. However, we continue to introduce initiatives, for example contacting cardiology and coronary care patients after their discharge to offer support. This will remain a focus for next year.
Our quality priorities 2015/16
- Improving harm-free care
- Improving our safety culture
- Improving care for patients with sepsis
- Improving care for patients with diabetes
- Reducing readmission rates
- Improving learning from national audits and other national guidance
- Improving experience for our more vulnerable patients
- Improving the experience for patients within outpatients
- Improving the experience for patients staying in hospital including discharge
These priorities have been set by Board after consultation with a number of stakeholders.