HSJ Patient Safety Award Nomination for InPhase Customers, Wirral Community Trust
How the right digital framework can transform Care Home assurance in the face of Covid.
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Since they first began in 2018, the HSJ Patient Safety Awards have been dedicated to recognising safety, culture, and experience in patient care. They’re designed to celebrate the teams at the frontline that improve standards of patient safety and drive cultural change to minimise risk, enhance quality of care and ultimately save lives.
Those that win each of the 23 different awards are in good company, with previous winners including University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust and West of England AHSN, and this year a new award was created for Covid-19 Infection Prevention and Control, which will be presented to projects and initiatives that “demonstrably show holistic approaches to Covid-19 prevention and control”. Not only must entrants demonstrate how their initiative benefitted staff and patient safety through enhanced quality, improved patient experience or increased staff ability to manage care more effectively, but they must also show how it directly contributed to the delivery of consistently high-quality care.
Wirral Community Health and Care Foundation Trust were shortlisted for the new award this year, thanks to their transformative IPC SAFE care home project, using InPhase Oversight – the fully integrated assurance platform from InPhase dedicated to the healthcare industry.
A Need for Change
The IPC SAFE care home project came about as part of the "Healthy Wirral" programme, which included Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust in a concerted push to implement a digital transformation and move from static, laborious paper-based approaches to a more easily manageable and modern digital solution.
In response to that challenge, they used some of the infection prevention control grant that had been issued to local authorities and used the discretionary elements of the grant to invest in their local IPC team and in a digital assurance framework that would transform their assurance for the 120 care homes in their area.
The focus was on creating a simple to use, standard online system that would provide support to the Care Home manager and assurance to the Care Home and the local IPC nurse and Community Trust that IPC practises were consistently SAFE across all 120 care homes.It marked an investment in their IPC team and signified their commitment to implementing a holistic approach to Covid-19 prevention and control.
By turning to InPhase for that digital solution, they were able to use the InPhase Oversight platform to create a tailored IPC assurance framework for their care homes that delivered that assurance in spades. Dubbed SAFE (Standard Assurance Framework Excellence), the system provides them with an assurance and governance framework that’s standardised across the care homes, so that all of their care homes use the same information in the same format, creating improved consistency and quality of Infection Protection and Control.
The platform was customised very quickly, ready for testing. In August, they recruited the required IPC nurses and selected a group of 20 care homes to work with as part of the pilot phase of launching their brand-new IPC SAFE care home module. After successfully piloting the system through those first 20 care homes, the trust continued to roll it out across the remaining 100, until it was implemented across the board.
In brief, InPhase helped the Trust put emphasis on providing safe and effective infection protection and control for some of the Wirral’s most vulnerable people and on providing assurance to care home residents and their families.
The feedback from Care home Managers was overwhelmingly positive, even from the earliest stages of the project, with high engagement despite the challenging circumstances in which they worked. From the outset, staff felt that the framework was extremely useful and easy to use, helping them keep care standards front of mind and helping them easily see and remember the controls that needed to be in place. Most importantly, the fact that the fully integrated system collated all the key data in one place meant that it was easier for staff to manage care more effectively – a key criterion for the HSJ award.
Thanks to InPhase, the SAFE IPC tool has helped improve the culture and approach to IPC within the Trust’s care homes, and it’s a superb example of how investment in the right digital tools can help transform assurance and care to potentially award-winning levels…https://www.inphase.com/differentiators/customer-stories/wirral-council-care-homes
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About the Author
Having worked in both the private and public sectors Paul has spent the last 8 years focusing on improving performance, reducing costs and providing board level assurance through software implementation and data analysis.
Working predominantly with NHS Organisations Paul has a wealth of experience in reviewing business processes, creating strategic improvement plans and tracking benefits realisation.