We know many people feel anxious coming to a hospital and we're conscious it is the responsibility of staff to make patients feel safe and put them at ease. That's why we’re stepping up our initiatives to put patient safety and patient experience at the heart of everything we do here at Liverpool Women's.
Safety is already top of our agenda and we have been named as one of the top four NHS hospitals in the country in that respect. But we want to do even better. That’s why myself and some Board members attended a meeting recently with US experts from the Boston-based Institute of Health Improvement and Advancing Quality Alliance to consider the vital role of hospital boards in influencing and establishing a culture of safety in hospitals.
It was an inspirational meeting, giving us an insight into methods we believe will help us improve patient safety even more, and therefore patient experience, for all those we care for - from neonates to the elderly.
This is not just the responsibility of individual staff. It has to be a team effort led by the Board, Management and Senior Clinicians that is reflected at every level of care. We want to inspire every employee to "sign up" to doing their best for patients so that it becomes an accepted and natural part of our culture at the heart of everything we do.
An action plan is now being completed setting out targets for quality, safety and improvement and the Board’s role in achieving these. We are pressing ahead with new procedures right away as well as supporting existing initiatives.
We have already made considerable progress in areas like reducing the rate of infection. Another award-winning initiative is Liverpool Women’s Maternal Early Warning System (MEWS). This safeguards pregnant patients by monitoring them with a traffic light system of observations which picks up early indications of possible problems later in pregnancy. It has been adopted throughout the country and is already helping to save lives.