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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Patient Safety is our top priority

An important aspect of last week's National Patient Safety week for me was to get out there and talk to staff around the hospital about their perspective on keeping our patients safe.  That’s why I went with Gail Naylor, our Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Experience, on an early morning visit to meet night staff on our gynaecology wards.

We wanted to gain first hand knowledge of any safety concerns that frontline staff might have, to learn about any challenges around the issue and how we could support them better. We also wanted to give them a voice for their ideas and even their frustrations and found that they too felt good channels of communication were vital, along with leadership and organisation. The fact that staff are now working in teams with a team leader to whom they can voice any concerns is something they view as a positive development. Gail and I promised to give their feedback to our Executive meeting which we did. We also asked staff we met to each share our discussions with two of their colleagues in gynaecology who weren‘t present. We appreciated their open, honest and insightful contribution.

As one of only two trusts in the country dedicated to the care of women of all ages, we are first choice for many women requiring gynaecological care. We carry out 10,000 procedures a year ranging from caring for miscarriage patients to hysterectomies and cancer surgery. We are delighted that in partnership with Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, we are now able to offer some cancer patients chemotherapy here at Liverpool Women’s following their surgery.

While patient safety is a top priority for us, so is the safety of staff so we have been concerned by recent incidents in which some have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour. Our staff work very hard, sometimes in challenging situations, requiring all their skills. We have a zero tolerance
attitude to any abuse of staff by patients or their visitors. Happily, the many “thank you” cards displayed in patient areas demonstrate how most people appreciate their care.

19 September 2011