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Preventing life-changing falls: Yorkshire Safety Huddles

Posted: - 5th November 2019

As a result of our Yorkshire Safety Huddles programme over 2,500 falls have been avoided this year (7,600 cumulatively since the programme began). Many of these falls would have had life changing consequences for people, preventing them returning to their own homes or seriously reducing their ability to go about their daily lives

Through our Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) and in collaboration with the Improvement Academy, we are working with 323 teams in the region across 45 organisations including mental health teams, community teams and care homes. They all use huddles to reduce harm in key areas identified by each team.

This reduction in falls equates to around £20 Million in health care costs based on cost estimates from NHS Improvement. Evaluation work we have conducted shows that 58% of hospital wards have reduced pressure ulcers, and 80% have reduced emergency ‘crash’ calls as a result of adopting safety huddles.

Yorkshire Safety Huddles is a programme designed to reduce the risk of harm for patients & residents in a variety of care settings. These short, focused, regular informal group discussions are supported by senior clinicians and led by the most appropriate person for that team. Yorkshire Safety Huddles involve all levels of trained and untrained staff and provide an important space for the discussion of patient & resident safety issues.

These include:

  • Acute hospitals: falls, pressure ulcers and deterioration.
  • Mental health: violence and aggression, self-harm, fire incidents, verbal abuse andmissing service users.
  • Care home: deterioration, pressure ulcers, nutrition and hydration.
  • Community teams: falls and pressure ulcers.

Our work on Patient Safety Huddles with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust earned us an HSJ Value Award in June 2018 and a health Business Award for Patient Safety in November 2018. Reducing the potential risks – and associated costs – of unnecessary invasive procedures, injuries to patients and medication errors remains a constant challenge across the NHS and one which we continue to help address.

For more information please contact us

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Safety huddles have had a massive impact for both our staff and patients in Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Everyone has a voice and this creates great team work. Huddles really do improve the safety of our patients.

Dr Yvette Oade, Chief Medical Officer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

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