Adoption and Spread

In 2020/21, the South West Academic Health Science Network is working with health and care teams on the adoption and spread of five evidence-based tools to support and improve patient safety.

Safe Tracheostomy Care

In response to COVID-19, the South West Patient Safety Collaborative (SW PSC) has incorporated a new programme under its adoption and spread initiative.

With a potential increase in numbers of patients requiring a tracheostomy following prolonged invasive ventilation, we are supporting a national programme to support the implementation of key elements of safe tracheostomy care in NHS trusts across the region.

Initial scoping work of acute site tracheostomy pathways has determined that the South West has strongly embedded safe care practices for patients with tracheostomies and there is ongoing quality improvement work within individual trusts.

The key elements of safe tracheostomy care that this programme is promoting include:

  1. Bed-head signs to identify the type and specifics of the artificial airway in place.
  2. Easy access to emergency care algorithms and equipment.
  3. A daily tracheostomy care bundle to be completed for each patient by staff competent in tracheostomy care.

Dependent on local need, the SW PSC will offer support for improving tracheostomy safety in community-based pathways.

We are working in collaboration with the National Tracheostomy Safety Programme (NTSP) to ensure all resources and signposting are standardised, evidence-based and support best practice.

Click here for the NTSP Safe Tracheostomy Care toolkit. The Innovation Agency offers the latest COVID-19 tracheostomy care guidance.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Discharge Bundle

The South West Patient Safety Collaborative is supporting respiratory medicine services in the South West region to implement an appropriate discharge care bundle for all patients admitted with an acute exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Extensive evidence continues to demonstrate that when all elements of the care bundle are combined, COPD readmission rates are reduced and outcomes for patients with COPD are improved.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is particularly important to ensure that acutely unwell COPD patients have access to a clinical specialist review and receive the complete care bundle, to enable them to self-manage their condition at home, where they are at lower risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Details of components of COPD care bundles, the evidence base, national audit information and latest guidance are available on the British Thoracic Society website.

PReCePT (PReventing Cerebral Palsy in Pre-Term labour)

The PReCePT programme helps to reduce cerebral palsy in babies through the increased antenatal administration of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) to mothers during pre-term labour, costing from £1 per individual dose.

The PReCePT initiative was originally developed by the West of England Academic Health Science Network in collaboration with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, and was selected for adoption and spread across England during 2018-20 via the national AHSN Network.

From November 2018 the SW AHSN has been supporting NHS trust across South West England to implement PReCePT and maintain uptake of magnesium sulphate among eligible mothers, which reached an average of 91% during the active phase of the programme.

Learn more about PReCePT.

Emergency Department (ED) Safety Checklist

The SW AHSN is supporting the adoption and spread of the Emergency Department (ED) Safety Checklist, a simple time-based framework that outlines clinical tasks that need completing for each patient in the first hours of their admittance to an ED.

The tool ensures that assessments and tests happen in a timely way in order to improve patient satisfaction and reduce risks. The number of emergency departments using the checklist is growing rapidly in the South West as clinicians realise it keeps their patients safe.

This project is supported and endorsed by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, and the Royal College of Nursing.

Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative

The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) improves standards of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery, reduces mortality rates, complications and hospital length of stay while encouraging a culture of collaboration and embedding quality improvement skills to ensure sustainability of change projects.