04 Jul We were a finalist in the Patient Safety Awards 2013
In 2013 we entered the Patient Safety Awards 2013 for our work in the NHS (in partnership with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals) based on a desire to reduce the level of avoidable harm there. The awards are sponsored by the Nursing Times and Health Service Journal who needed a written submission, so it fell to me to produce a brief summary on the project.
We felt the timing was right and our hook was The Francis Report published in February which highlighted the importance of culture in ensuring patients are cared for safely and with compassion. TalkSafe and its variants have built a worldwide reputation in high risk environments so why shouldn’t it be successful in another high risk sector like the NHS? We also recognised that TalkSafe can be used to break through some of the hierarchical barriers in the NHS.
We submitted our entry in February and thought that was the last we would hear of it. But after the release of the Patient Safety Awards shortlist in March we found out we were a finalist in the Acute Care category!
Judgement Day Arrives
A panel of independent judges selected the finalists to go forward to the next stage of judging, after what the organisers said was an extremely tough and gruelling process given the high quality of the year’s entrants. Those who made the shortlist could be rightly proud of being selected as well as having the chance to secure the winner’s accolade on the awards night itself in July.
So on the 4th June 2013 we travelled to London to make a timed presentation to a select panel of judges and take part in a Q&A session, this was done by myself and Sue Wild Governance Manager for diagnostics at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control stepped in at the very last minute to support the presentation process.
The judges included an independent health service adviser and former Director of Nursing and former Assistant Chief Nurse in the Department of Health; the Royal College of Nursing Nurse Adviser for Acute and Emergency Care; and the Director of Operational Nursing at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and visiting lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and Anglia Ruskin University.
The panel received our presentation with enthusiasm and genuine interest, they seemed to recognise how innovative this approach could be in the NHS and they asked some very pertinent and challenging questions about use of data, engaging medics and lesson learned.
We were honest in our responses to what had gone well and where improvements could be made in implementation. We remained philosophical and appreciated the best endeavours of everyone involved.