IMPROVING PATIENT SAFETY

Working together to build a culture of continuous learning and improvement

The South West Patient Safety Collaborative, hosted by the South West AHSN is one of 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) across England delivering the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (SIPs).

During the pandemic, PSCs are supporting their local health and care systems, including hospitals, care homes and the community, to improve patient and resident safety. The South West PSC has been focusing on the following priorities:

  • Identifying and managing people at risk of deterioration and sepsis
  • Implementing a tracheostomy care programme to help manage patients with a tracheostomy
  • Support for maternity and neonatal units

SUPPORTING COVID-19 PATIENTS IN THE COMMUNITY WITH COVID OXIMETRY @ HOME

The South West AHSN worked with all AHSNs, NHS England and NHS Improvement to support the set-up of ‘COVID Oximetry @home’ services (also known as ‘COVID virtual wards’). All clinical commissioning groups were recommended to set up services for eligible patients in November 2020. This is being used in many areas to help detect earlier deterioration of people with COVID-19, both in the community and in care homes.

The package of care involves the remote monitoring of the individual's condition through providing regular contact with a local health care team who will reassess the individual's symptoms (including oxygen saturation levels). This close monitoring enables the individual to remain at their usual place of residence whilst allowing early signs of deterioration to be identified and escalated quickly and appropriately.

The NHS England and NHS Improvement information on this programme can be found here.

REMOTE MONITORING USING PULSE OXIMETRY IN CARE HOMES

This webinar explains the background to COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual wards, and what this means for care home staff supporting residents who are being monitored remotely using pulse oximetry.

Aimed at registered managers, care workers in care homes, Primary Care Network clinical leads, and staff supporting remote monitoring, it covers why ‘silent hypoxia’ is important, how it works in practice, and the range of support and learning materials on offer.

Organised by the AHSN Network with NHS England and NHS Improvement, you can watch the webinar below. Visit www.ahsnnetwork.com/covid-oximetry for more information and to download the presentation.

VIRTUAL WARDS AND COVID OXIMETRY @ HOME

Since December 2020 we have supported the rapid mobilisation and scale-up of COVID Oximetry @home, also called ‘COVID Virtual Wards’, to enable remote monitoring of COVID-19 patients using pulse oximeters, reducing the number of patients requiring hospital admission. Working with other AHSNs, we formed a regional collaborative forum to cascade national and regional programme updates, as well as to facilitate evaluation and shared learning across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. As of the end of March 2021, over 888 people benefited from COVID Oximetry @home and COVID Virtual Wards programmes across the three counties.

OPTIMISING DEVON VACCINATIONS ROLL-OUT

At the end of 2020, we were asked to support Devon ICS to optimise COVID-19 vaccinations roll-out, including improvement tools and learning approaches to enable the system to vaccinate as many citizens as possible. These learnings were shared with a range of stakeholders in the region and beyond.

Read more in our case study: Optimising the Devon Primary Care COVID-19 vaccination programme.