Patient care has this year reached unprecedented heights of safety after we were handed a major role in a ground-breaking health improvement programme. Staff worked closely together to explore ways of making patient care safer in a number of areas - including on the wards; before, during and after operations; and in critical care. Among our achievements were:
- A 16 per cent fall in mortality rate
- A 36 per cent fall in the average number of days that patients stay on life-support machines, minimising the potential for patients to develop pneumonia
- A 67 per cent increase in the number of safety briefings among staff that take place before a patient undergoes surgery. Their aim is to identify - and address - any possible health issues that may arise before, during and after the operation
- A 48 per cent drop in the number of mistakes involving anti-blood clotting medicines
Meeting Waiting List Targets
We have been meeting the overall target to treat patients within 18 weeks of referral since September 2008 but, in common with the wider NHS, there are still challenges in some areas. We are working hard to explore ways of further reducing the time between referral and treatment.
Making our Hospitals Cleaner
One of the biggest achievement was the success of our ‘turnaround’ programme to improve hospital hygiene. It was launched at the start of the year to ensure we continued to improve our performance in reducing healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). We succeeded. The number of MRSA cases was 21 - a fall of 56 per cent year on year. The incidence of C-Difficile also fell, almost halving from 291 cases to 151.
In addition, we also achieved full compliance in three other key areas, beating the 95 per cent target:
- Hand hygiene = 97 per cent
- Dress code = 98.8 per cent
- Cleaning = 96.2 per cent