I am delighted to introduce the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust Quality Account for 2019 to 2020, which is an excellent demonstration of the Trust’s continuing commitment to provide high quality, patient focused care.
Our ambitious two year Quality Improvement Strategy was launched in 2019, which set out our quality objectives for 2019 to 2021, enabling us to deliver the highest standard of care possible, within a strong safety culture and an ethos of shared learning.
Feedback from our patients over the last 12 months shows that 94.8% of our inpatients would recommend our care to their family and friends and 88% of our inpatients rated the care we provided to them at 7/10 or above.
The Quality Account details the progress we have made against our priorities over the last year, in addition to outlining our plans to achieve these during 2020 to 2021, and aims to build on what we have achieved so far within a culture of continuous improvement.
It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed profound and unprecedented challenge to the NHS as a whole, and has had an extraordinary impact on the way health services were and will be delivered in the future.
Due to the professionalism, hard work and unfaltering dedication of our staff, the emphasis has remained on providing high quality care to our patients throughout the response and recovery phases of the pandemic.
We are committed to hearing the views of staff and patients as to what their experiences are of the innovative changes in care and treatment pathways we have implemented, to ensure that these are inclusive and accessible to all who need them.
With regards to the quality priorities we set ourselves for 2019 to 2020, we performed very well in our priority around improving mortality reviews and implementing the medical examiner system.
79.9% of patient deaths received a level 1 review in 2019 to 2020, with 67.2% of these being undertaken within 60 days of the patient’s death.
This is against a target of 80% in 60 days by March 2021.
Processes and pathways have been scoped and developed in relation to the Medical Examiner System and all of the personnel successfully recruited, and I am delighted to confirm that the system will go live in September 2020.
One of our patient safety priorities was to involve patients and families in patient safety, and the deployment of Family Liaison Officers to patients and/or their families involved in patient safety incidents and complex complaints has been another key success this year.
The Trust has trained 27 members of staff as Family Liaison Officers, and they have supported 25 families during 2019 to 2020.
Another of our quality priorities is ‘making every contact count’, which is about making the most of each interaction we have with our patients, ensuring the care we deliver is linked to wider public health issues and taking every opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Gateshead.
It is with pride that I note we received an award in October 2019 for our commitment to making sure that staff are able to speak up when things go wrong.
We were commended after achieving the highest Freedom to Speak up Index score in the Combined Acute and Community Trust category.
It is vital that our people feel able to speak up without fear of reprisal.
Not only does this show that we value and trust our staff, it will ultimately make all NHS services safer for patients.
I would like to end by thanking and commending all of our staff.
Without their skill, loyalty and commitment we would not be able to achieve such high quality services.
Their dedication and focus remains firmly on ensuring the very best outcomes for our patients.