• Run by NHS South Central, from December 2009 to December 2010.
  • Focused on work in the community and in mental health settings.
  • Aimed to improve patient safety in mental health.
  • Focused on improving safety climate and leadership, increasing staff's perception of the organisation's commitment to patient safety, medication safety, and safety on wards.
  • Used a series of workshops and training to build capacity of local teams.

This project was run by NHS South Central and aimed to improve patient safety, focusing on work in the community and in mental health settings.

The team aimed to improve safety in mental health in the region by focusing on:

  • improving safety climate and working on leadership
  • increasing staff’s positive perception of the organisation’s commitment to patient safety
  • medication safety
  • safety on wards.

The team used a series of workshops and training to build capacity of local teams.

Examples of activities

  • Patient safety walkrounds, NHS Portsmouth. Patient safety is now the first item at team meetings, raising awareness and discussion. Patient safety culture has improved and walkrounds are now part of the culture of participating community hospitals and GP practices.
  • Improved efficiency in the issuing of prescriptions, Parkside GP Practice, Milton Keynes. GP prescription errors reduced from 80 (2.6%) in January 2010 to four (0.1%) in November 2010.
  • Reduction in pressure ulcers through use of safety crosses, NHS Berkshire West. This project started in 15 GP practices and was so successful it was rolled out to 56 practices. This is now a standard monthly reporting outcome and it also resulted in an overall improvement in the delivery of pressure ulcer equipment.
  • Clinical handover training DVD and improving transfer of care, Berkshire East Community Services. This project worked with the Patient Safety Federation on their training DVD ‘The Trouble with Handover’. Introducing handover guidelines and a reliability tool for community nursing teams has increased reliability from 20-80% to 75-100%.
  • Preventing harm from falls, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. Information about falls was posted on ward information boards and footwear education given to staff. Falls incidents were reduced by 40% across the four participating wards.
  • Mental health, Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. A patient questionnaire revealed that other patients’ behaviour (or their perceived threat) caused 35% of patients to feel unsafe. To address this, the nurse in charge conducted walkabouts during the shift and patients felt safer.

Overall, the project improved the perception of patient safety by 15%.

About this programme


Working with strategic health authorities

This programme created partnerships with four strategic health authorities to improve patient safety between 2009 and 2012. 

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