Six Members of Tynwald have so far agreed to join Patient Safety Walks at Noble’s Hospital following an invitation issued to all Members by the Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK.
The invitations are aimed to give the politicians a closer understanding of the patient safety measures long embedded within normal operations at the hospital.
Onchan MHK David Quirk was the first Member to undertake a visit, and five others have also accepted the invitation.
Commenting on his visit, Mr Quirk said: “I was delighted to visit the Radiology Department at Noble’s Hospital for a Patient Safety Walk and I was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to speak to patients and to front line staff who clearly felt at ease to talk freely with me. One patient, originally from Derbyshire, commented on how Noble’s Hospital was much better than his old local hospital in England. Overall it was a very positive experience. I’m glad to see just one of the ways that patients and staff are given a voice and that lay people, such as myself who don’t have that clinical experience and knowledge, can ask questions and challenge where necessary.”
Member for Health Services Dudley Butt MLC said: “I am pleased that some of my Tynwald colleagues are making time to learn more about the sort of work we do to involve frontline staff, patients and relatives in improving care and safety.
“There has been a great deal of talk about patient safety at Noble’s Hospital over the past several months. I think it is important that all Members of Tynwald come and see for themselves some of the patient safety and service improvement activity that goes on at the Hospital. To clinicians and management this is simply part of the routine, but it is vital that Tynwald Members and the public understand that the concept of patient safety is not new and has always been at the top of the priorities of management and staff and is something that is completely engrained within patient care at Noble’s Hospital. I hope those Members who have not yet replied will avail themselves of this opportunity to see what actually happens on the frontline of patient safety.”
Patient Safety Walks are carried out each month at Noble’s Hospital, with the area selected only receiving 20 minutes notice. The groups are made up of a small number of people, so as not to disrupt the normal working of the clinical area or ward. The walks usually involve a senior clinician, a lay representative from the hospital’s Patient Safety and Quality Forum as well as a senior officer or political member from within the Department such as the Minister or Chief Executive.
The walks are designed to enable both senior clinicians and lay public/patient representatives to identify any issues within the ward or clinical environment; primarily matters of patient safety, but also other aspects such as communication and comfort. As well as inspecting the area, patients and relatives are also asked for their feedback and views on all aspects of care. Staff are also consulted, with all the feedback drawn together and, where necessary, rapid action taken to ensure any issues are quickly resolved.
Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies at Noble’s Hospital, Bev Critchlow, said: “Patient Safety Walks are just one measure that ensures an ongoing programme of monitoring and scrutinising of clinical care takes place. It is an ideal way of ensuring senior leaders, both clinical and managerial, as well as patient representatives are able to engage with staff and patients regularly about patient safety and care issues which matter most to them.”