NEAS has implemented a number of changes to improve patient safety and quality of care across the North East through the development of a Quality Strategy.
NEAS staff consistently deliver high quality care, demonstrated through the National Ambulance Quality Indicators, where the trust is often 1st and 2nd place nationally, but the trust is always keen to improve.
The Quality Strategy is built upon three domains – delivering safe and effective care and a positive patient experience – with progress monitored through our Quality Committee.
The trust uses a system called Ulysses for incident reporting, which has been extended throughout 2014 and is now utilised for complaints and compliments management, safeguarding adults and children, patient safety alerts and risk management.
A full re-configuration in late 2014 allows the trust to improve reporting and learning and the identification of themes and trends. It also now records the ‘duty of candour’ requirements.
The new patient safety alert system, where patient care updates and national safety alerts can be safely and effectively distributed, provides a robust audit trail of compliance and action taken against the alert, providing improved assurance.
Staff engagement and training has also been improved around the reporting of adverse events and incidents, especially around low risk and near misses. Further training will be provided through essential annual training from April 2015.
The trust has also improved its Quality Governance processes under Monitor’s Well Led framework, by undertaking a full Governance Review. We will be looking to identify lay persons/patient representatives to join us at our Quality Committee.
Our commitment to improving patient safety has also been confirmed through signing up to a national NHS campaign called Sign up to Safety, which aims to reduce avoidable harm by 50 per cent over three years and save 6,000 lives.
Joanne Baxter, Director of Clinical Care and Patient Safety, said: “The trust has come a long way over the past year on improving quality and safety and this is demonstrated in a number of key quality metrics.
“There is always room for improvement and my aim is to continue improving and championing transformational change to ensure NEAS is the best performing ambulance trust nationally.
“Our staff our extremely dedicated and, despite recent pressures, have maintained the quality of care and professionalism patients deserve, which makes me extremely proud.”