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This month sees the first wave of early adopters of the Emergency Department (ED) Safety Checklist in the West of England, with Weston, North Bristol and Gloucestershire following University Hospitals Bristol’s lead.

The ED Safety Checklist was piloted at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and supported as a SHINE research project by the Health Foundation. The Checklist systematises the observations, tests and treatments in a time-based sequence for all patients other than those with minor complaints.

In its first year the Checklist has had an extremely positive and demonstrable impact on patient safety in ED.  Since its introduction in the UHB ED, there have been no clinical incidents relating to a failure in recognising deteriorating patients or delays in care delivery. (During the winter of 2013/4 there had been five serious incidents of which three occurred in the ambulance queue.)  Mean proportions in Key Performance Indicators (KPI) taken before and after the introduction of the Checklist improved by 5% – 25% in most cases.

Commenting on the pilot, Dr Emma Redfern, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHB and Associate Clinical Director for Patient Safety at the West of England AHSN, said: “All key performance indicators have improved since we implemented the Safety Checklist: things like vital sign measurements, pain scoring and administration of pain relief.

“We feel that a well-designed Safety Checklist can improve the quality of care delivered to our patients during periods of crowding.”

Due to the pressures on local urgent care systems, the West of England AHSN is now supporting three other EDs to implement the Checklist, through the development of an easy-to-use Toolkit and a financial award.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust is our first early adopter, while North Bristol NHS Trust plans to implement the Checklist by the end of December.  Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be our next early adopter in early 2016.

With support from the West of England AHSN, UHB have applied for Scaling Up funding from the Health Foundation to roll out the ED Safety Checklist across the whole of the South West, and we will hear if we are being invited for an interview in January.

For more information on the ED Safety Checklist, contact:

Emma Redfern
Associate Clinical Director for Patient Safety

Joanna Garrett
Patient Safety Improvement Lead

You can watch a short video here about the ED Safety Checklist pilot at UHB. You’ll need the password ‘shine’.

Posted on December 1, 2015

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