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Health secretary praises West Suffolk Hospital




Nurse and nursing informatics lead Ian Coe, left, demonstrating a vital signs monitor to Jeremy Hunt on his visit to West Suffolk Hospital
Nurse and nursing informatics lead Ian Coe, left, demonstrating a vital signs monitor to Jeremy Hunt on his visit to West Suffolk Hospital

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said West Suffolk Hospital set an example to the rest of the NHS, during a visit there to learn about patient safety in the NHS.

During his visit last week Mr Hunt commended staff for achieving the health trust’s latest ‘Care Quality Commission outstanding’ rating, and highlighted the ‘fantastic work’ undertaken on their learning from deaths programme.

After hearing about tools from electronic dashboards to new equipment and apps the hospital uses to improve patient safety, Mr Hunt spoke candidly to staff about his own experience.

He discussed the role of the Care Quality Commission, performance, patient satisfaction and the importance of listening to and acting on patient experiences, before taking questions from staff.

Mr Hunt said: “I was hugely impressed by their commitment to improving patient safety – in particular the push to ensure technology to benefit patients is used right across the trust, whether through innovative apps or electronic records.

“It was fantastic to see the work they’re doing on the learning from deaths programme – setting an example for the rest of the NHS to follow.

“Staff should be rightly proud of the outstanding rating from the CQC and the rest of the NHS should take note of their commitment to improve beyond outstanding to ‘world-leading’. Keep up the excellent work.”

The Secretary of State also praised leaders and staff alike for securing the top spot in the recent NHS Staff Survey 2017, where the trust came top in the country against comparable trusts for staff recommending it as a place to work or receive care.

He was then shown a demonstration of the trust’s new vital signs monitors by nurse and nursing informatics lead Ian Coe. The machines measure blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and pulse and all other required parameters to enable immediate calculation of Early Warning Scores, which help to identify acutely unwell patients early.

By scanning a barcode on the patient’s wrist, these readings are then placed directly into the patient’s electronic care record, reducing the risk of human error and saving time.

Chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn said: “In the NHS we’re all passionate about patient safety. It’s the bread and butter of what we do and why we’re here, and it was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work we’re undertaking to continuously improve.”



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