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OUH in the running for patient safety award

03/08/2021

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) has been shortlisted for a prestigious award recognising safety, culture, and experience in patient care.

The Trust is nominated for the Changing Culture Award at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards, while it has been put forward alongside partners at the University of Oxford in five other categories, resulting in six nominations in four categories.

The full list of OUH and OUH-related finalists include:

Changing Culture Award
OUH – Creating a culture of Improvement

Patient Safety Education and Training Award
SAFE-in-Maternity: Safety-2 & Appreciative Inquiry For Excellence in Maternity at OUH with OxSTaR
University of Oxford and OUH – STEP UP: The simulation and technology enhanced learning project to upskill during the pandemic

Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year Award
SAFE-in-Maternity: Safety-2 & Appreciative Inquiry For Excellence in Maternity at OUH with OxSTaR
OxSTaR (University of Oxford), Eastfield House Surgery, Castle Gardens Surgery - MAGIC – The Management of Acute emergencies in GP surgeries using In-situ simulation and Checklists

Primary Care Initiative of the Year
OxSTaR (University of Oxford), Eastfield House Surgery, Castle Gardens Surgery - MAGIC – The Management of Acute emergencies in GP surgeries using In-situ simulation and Checklists

The Changing Culture Award shortlisting is in recognition of the Trust’s Quality Improvement (QI) Hub, which brings together examples of improvement across the organisation to provide a single platform to celebrate and learn from.

The Hub aims to create a culture where people feel supported to improve patient and staff experience, creating an environment where excellence will thrive.

Dr Sahana Rao, Consultant Paediatrician at the Trust and founder of QI Hub, said: "The QI Hub is a Trustwide programme driven by frontline staff that develops and delivers continuous improvement through shared learning and collaboration.

"Our aim is to improve services for patients and staff. We are delighted to be nominated for this award, and we are grateful to our amazing staff who have continued to deliver patient-centred improvements for our patients and staff."

The five other shortlisted projects are related to OxSTaR (Oxford Simulation, Teaching and Research), the University of Oxford’s state-of-the-art medical simulation teaching and research facility based at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, which has delivered award-winning simulation and human factors training at OUH for over a decade.

The three shortlisted OxSTaR projects are: STEP-UP, MAGIC, and SAFE-in-Maternity

STEP-UP (the Simulation and Technology Enhanced learning Project for Upskilling in a Pandemic), in contention for the Patient Safety Education and Training Award, was a project that rapidly trained staff at OUH and elsewhere in essential new skills at a time of extreme pressure during the pandemic. The strong partnership already in existence allowed a rapid collaboration between OxSTaR and the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team at OUH which was key to the success of the project.

Simulation and other educational technologies allowed the rapid upskilling of staff and dissemination of knowledge which could be accessed at any time using any device.

Training, including the use of PPE and intubation drills, were made freely available worldwide, with more than 3,000 healthcare professionals from 167 countries able to benefit from the project.

SAFE-in-Maternity, a pilot and ongoing education project that has been nominated for two awards, aims to train staff by focusing on what goes well. 

This is done through 'Appreciative Inquiry', a strengths-based, positive approach to patient safety that helps staff and patients learn by understanding what works well, instead of only learning from when things go wrong.

Through a webinar, series of workshops, and a week of in-practice learning, the Maternity team has adopted this new approach, which works closely with stakeholders. The innovative style has been shared more widely with teams across OUH and other hospitals in the Thames Valley.

Dr Sally Shiels, an Anaesthetic Registrar at the Trust who helped to lead the project, said: "Patient safety has historically focused on learning from mistakes, known as 'Safety-1'. This approach, the focus of many recent national reports, has well-recognised limitations on achieving sustained improvement and erodes both patient confidence and staff morale. 

"SAFE-in-Maternity hinges on understanding the why of what works well, called 'Safety-2'. It is a grass-roots initiative led by a team of midwives, anaesthetists, support staff, nurses, and obstetricians. 

"Together, we have created a project that has improved patient and staff safety. We have learned about the importance of specific feedback, caring conversations, and language choice to improve our working environment."

MAGIC (the Management of Acute emergencies in GP surgeries using In-situ simulation and Checklists) was funded by Health Education England and was also shortlisted in two categories.

It was designed to combine in-situ simulation training with the development of bespoke checklists for emergencies in primary care and involved a partnership with GP practices. The end product will be a Quick Reference Handbook similar to that used by anaesthetists in the NHS but designed specifically to support safer care in GP practices.

Helen Higham, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Trust and Director of OxSTaR, said: "We are delighted to be nominated in five categories this year. The strengths of all partners delivered project outcomes that were much greater than the sum of the parts, and patients and staff have benefitted throughout the NHS and much more widely as a result."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday 20 September 2021 in Manchester. There is more information on the event on the Patient Safety Awards website. The full shortlist can be seen via this separate page.