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REDUCING EMERGENCY ADMISSIONS: Dr Suzanne Mason, 6th July 2017

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Abstract: Emergency and urgent care provide substantial health benefit across the world but increasing demand is leading to unsustainable pressure on services and a need for innovative approaches to the delivery of emergency and urgent healthcare for patients. In the English NHS in 2012-13 there were 18.3 million attendances at major emergency departments, single specialty emergency departments, walk-in centres and minor injury units, at a cost of £2.1 billion; 5.3 million emergency hospital admissions, at a cost of £12.5 billion; 7 million ambulance service journeys; and approximately 24 million calls to NHS emergency and urgent care telephone services.

Failure of the emergency and urgent care system to manage increasing demand causes substantial public concern and political impact. Delays in ambulance response or emergency department assessment can lead to worse outcomes for patients. Emergency department crowding is internationally recognised and may be associated with avoidable mortality. These issues make the delivery of emergency and urgent care an important priority for policy-makers, service providers and the public. The emergency and urgent care system inextricably links services together that rely on each other, and also that work together to deliver care for patients. This study is using data from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and NHS 111 and linking it with hospital data (ED/Inpatient) from every acute trust in Yorkshire and Humber to analyse patient demand, flow and outcomes through these parts of the system.  In addition to an overall view, we have focussed on patient groups who may benefit from a different approach to their emergency care. This includes vulnerable patient groups such as those who have mental health problems, the elderly, patients who attend frequently and also patients with primary care-related problems. The presentation will provide an overview of the project and describe some of the analyses and outputs to date.

Biography: Suzanne qualified in medicine from London University in 1990. She pursued her training initially in surgery and then specialised in Emergency Medicine. Suzanne spent a year as a Royal College of Surgeons of England Research Fellow and was awarded an MD whilst undertaking higher training in Emergency Medicine. She joined Sheffield University as a Senior Clinical Lecturer in 2001 and was promoted to Reader in 2007 and Personal Chair in 2010. She divides her time between the university and as a consultant at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust emergency department. Her main research interests include evaluating complex interventions in emergency and urgent care. She is particularly interested in the evaluation of new roles and alternative pathways of care.

Recent studies include evaluating junior doctor confidence and competence in carrying out their role in emergency medicine (The EDiT study), evaluating the use of a falls pathway by paramedics attending older people who have fallen (SAFER 2 Trial), and The AHEAD Study: Managing anticoagulated patients who suffer head injury, Using routine data to evaluate the Emergency and Urgent care System (


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Abstract: Healthcare organisations receive large volumes of complaints; for example in 2015-16 the NHS received over 100,000 complaints from service users (patients and their families). Traditionally complaints have been seen as something to manage or even hide.  However, listening to service user complaints can potentially provide independent, practical, and unique insights for improving patient safety and quality. This lecture reports evidence using the Healthcare Complaints Analysis Tool, which is the first reliable tool for systematically analyzing and benchmarking the nature and severity of complaints received by hospitals. It shows that complaints from patients and families highlight systemic problems in the provision of safe and high-quality healthcare, and are associated with hospital-level mortality rates. This evidence supports the idea that complaints have high validity and can be used both as an early warning system for identifying systemic failures in healthcare organisations, and as a catalyst for organizational learning.

Biography: Tom Reader is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research examines the relationship between organisational culture and safety management in high-risk organisations, and has been conducted in a variety of settings (healthcare, aviation, energy, finance). Dr Reader’s research has been disseminated through outlets such as Risk Analysis, BMJ: Quality and Safety, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Human Relations.

SAFETY HUDDLES: Dr. Ali Cracknell and Alison Lovatt, 20th April 2017

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Abstract: Patient harms are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3billion per year.  For example, inpatient falls can lead to hip fractures and other injuries, whilst even falls without harm can lead to loss of confidence and increased length of stay for patients.

Team huddles have been used for many years and across many industries to improve team-working and communication but in Yorkshire, the Improvement Academy has combined the notion of a team huddle with improving patient safety and team working. We have worked with over 150 frontline teams since 2013 to implement our Huddle Up for Safer Healthcare (HUSH) programme.

In this talk we share some of our learning about what makes a Yorkshire Huddle effective and sustainable. We will also share some early findings from the evaluation currently being undertaken by the University of Bradford.

Biography: Ali is a Consultant in Medicine for Older People. She has a passion for patient safety and improvement, in particular implementing innovations in patient safety into frontline clinical practice. She has worked on many successful frontline QI projects including reducing harm from misplaced nasogastric feeding tubes, reducing falls and reducing cardiac arrests.  Ali is leading the programme of work to scale up patient safety huddles on hospital wards within three NHS trusts.

Alison has worked in the NHS for over 30 years. She is a trained Nurse and Midwife. Alison has worked to address patient safety issues for the last 7 years. She is the Improvement Academy’s Clinical Network Director and concentrates on working with frontline teams and implementing safety huddles as a means to improve patient safety culture and reduce harm. Alison also supports the Improvement Academy’s 150 Improvement Fellows.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Patient experience is widely regarded as one of three pillars of quality in healthcare, alongside patient safety and clinical effectiveness. There is an emergent evidence base that suggests organisations which perform well on patient experience also do better on a range of other measures, including safety (e.g. fewer medication errors), reducing costs and shorter lengths of stay, and improved staff experience, morale and retention. There is also good evidence on what matters to patients, including not just functional matters such as access, waiting times, food and noise, but also relational aspects of care – kindness, empathy and emotional support. However, acting on this information to improve services does not always happen, and there is a tendency to focus on measurement and data collection rather than improvement. This seminar will review the different kinds of patient experience data and what they can tell us, including surveys, interviews, observations and a range of forms of patient feedback, on and offline. It will explore how different types of data can be used for different purposes, and will focus particularly on practical quality improvement using narrative and observations, including ‘experience-based co-design’.

Biography: Louise Locock is a qualitative social scientist with research interests in the experience of health and illness, healthcare policy and organisational change. Since 2003 she has worked with the Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford, where she is now Director of Applied Research. She has led several studies of experiences of different health conditions disseminated on the health website, and is now increasingly focused on how narrative data can be used to inform service improvement in the NHS. She currently leads an NIHR study involving case studies with six NHS trusts, to explore how frontline staff on medical wards can use patient experience data to improve care. She also has an interest in people’s experiences of medical research participation and patient and public involvement.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Research on engagement, a multi-faceted concept covering a variety of positive work attitudes and experiences, has gained substantial traction in the last decade. Since 2009, it has been measured as part of the NHS staff survey – an annual questionnaire with more than 200,000 respondents each year. This talk will describe how engagement fits with other work-related constructs, why it is seen as important, and uses data from the NHS staff survey and other routinely collected sources to demonstrate its effects on staff well-being outcomes as well as associations with patient care. It will also explore how aspects of line management can promote engagement to achieve these outcomes.

Biography: Jeremy Dawson is Professor of Health Management at the University of Sheffield, where he works jointly between the Institute of Work Psychology (part of the Management School) and the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). His research includes a range of topics in the areas of health services management, and research methodology. He has led several large-scale projects in the NHS, particularly focussing on team working, staff engagement and well-being and their links with patient outcomes, and he led the team that ran the NHS national staff survey between 2003 and 2010. Amongst his other research interests include team and organisational climate, and work group diversity. He is a statistician by background, and teaches a wide variety of subjects in the fields of statistics and research methods, as well as researching in these areas. He has published over 40 papers in refereed academic journals, as well as numerous project reports and articles in practitioner publications. He is an editorial board member of six journals, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Presentation slides available here