Quality and Patient Safety

The Quality and Patient Safety Team

The Quality and Patient Safety Team in West Norfolk CCG works to ensure that safe, effective and high quality health services are commissioned and delivered for our population. The team works to promote a culture of openness and transparency where mistakes are learnt from and where a culture of service improvement is influenced across the health and social care community. As such, the team place the needs of people at the centre of all that it does and works hard to ensure that we learn from people’s experiences of care.

View our Quality Strategy for 2018-2021

Quality is at the heart of the CCG’s values and we make it a priority to maintain a focus on high quality care and patient outcomes.

Quality within health and social care is usually looked at in three parts: Patient Experience, Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness

Patient Experience 

Patient experience is central to ensuring that the services we commission are informed by patients’ views and that these are used to develop services to meet the needs of our population. To this effect, patient feedback and engagement is at the heart of all the programmes of work at the CCG. There are a number of key initiatives and reports that are used to collate patient experience, and identify where this can be improved.

All Care providers are expected to carry out patient experience surveys and act on responses to improve the services that they provide. It is now normal practice for `Patient Stories` to be used to help Trust Boards to understand how it feels to receive healthcare services. This information is monitored by the CCG alongside compliments and complaints and public opinions which have been placed on sites such as the NHS website and Patient Opinion.

As a patient or carer, as far as you are able, become active partners in your healthcare and always expect to be treated as such by those providing your healthcare. Speak up about what you see – right and wrong. You have extraordinarily valuable information on the basis of which to make the NHS better. (Berwick 2013).

Patient Safety 

The guiding principle of Patient Safety is “No Avoidable Harm, No Avoidable Death”.

Harm occurs if a patient’s health or quality of life is negatively affected by any aspect of their interaction with health care.  An interpretation is ‘anything’ that you would not want to happen to you or your relatives while receiving care. This might include the development of a pressure ulcer, a slip, trip or fall in a healthcare setting or a hospital acquired infection.

A Patient Safety Incident is any unintended or unexpected incident which could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients receiving NHS care.

A Serious Incident is defined nationally as an incident that occurred in relation to NHS-funded services and resulted in significant harm, allegations of abuse, or in rare cases, death.

These incidents prompt an in-depth investigation to understand the root cause(s) and to inform the development of actions and changes to practice which will prevent further incidents from occurring. These are reviewed and monitored through Clinical Quality Review Meetings (CQRM) between West Norfolk CCG and our Provider Organisations.

Clinical Effectiveness

The monitoring of the efficient and effective use of resources is an important element of the CCG function and drives the need for continual improvements in patient care. Our Providers are managed and monitored, in a number of ways including:

  • Announced and unannounced clinical quality assurance visits
  • Regular clinical meetings to discuss quality & safety issues
  • Working with providers to ensure the best care and pathways are in place for our patients
  • Sharing National Reports and implementing relevant learning into local practice
  • Celebrating and sharing good practice
  • Using National and local clinical audits to improve practice
  • Ensuring adherence to NICE Quality Standards and Guidelines
  • CQUIN Schemes (Commissioning for Quality & Innovation schemes) - to secure improvements in quality of services and better outcomes for patients where weaknesses in services have been identified.