Working together to help patients and carers to be more involved in safety

3 May

Patient Safety guide logo_cropped

The patient safety guide has been co-developed with patients, carers, general practitioners and pharmacists. We have worked together from the initial idea, to decide the focus of the guide, the first draft all the way through to refining it.

One key discussion we had early was a preference to develop a digital app based version to compliment the paper version which we are now doing. In March we held two more co-design events. In the first event we discussed what the app should include and key features that people like in an app, what they don’t like and what the guide app should include.

At the second event we discussed testing and piloting the guide package in practice for patients and carers and how would it be used with GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare staff. These discussions will be used to shape the next phase of the guide project to develop an app and test the full guide package.

Thanks to everyone who came along and got involved! If you’d like to find out more about the patient safety guide project or future opportunities to get involved please contact Dr Rebecca Morris.

Risk Management: developing a learning resource to support pharmacy teams across England

3 May

Risk man guide supported by NIHR GM PSTRC

Good risk management is well recognised as the cornerstone of safe practice in the workplace and risk assessment has long been part of legal requirements for health and safety in UK workplaces.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation highlighted the importance of medication error by choosing the issue of medication-related harm as the focus of its Global Challenge. In response to this, the Medication Safety theme of the Greater Manchester PSTRC worked with CPPE (The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education) to develop their learning resources on Risk Management.

This was an ideal opportunity for the PSTRC, allowing the team to apply their broad expertise in theoretical risk management concepts to the challenges of the pharmacy context but also enabling them to incorporate the expertise and insights from the PSTRC’s Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative – a group of current in-practice community pharmacists working in the Greater Manchester region (see blog post for more information).

This ensured that the guide would be both theoretically sound in terms of risk management but also enriched with examples that pharmacists saw as pertinent to their day to day work.

Through the co-development of this guide, it was recognised that this could be part of something with much greater impact and, as a result, CPPE dedicated their 2018 learning campaign to be focussed on the topic of Patient Safety, using the guide as a focal point to provide the theoretical background for the campaign.

The guide was distributed to over 67 500 pharmacy professionals as part of CPPE Patient Safety campaign. The PSTRC continued to support CPPE designing appropriate learning activities that would be delivered by CPPE – including face to face “focal point” sessions with over 100 events due to run nationally throughout England and online weekly activities in Feb/Mar 2018 – including an e-challenge quiz and encouraging involvement via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This resulted in over 1500 individuals signing up to the campaign activities over the six week period and continuing beyond this with pharmacists still adding their intentions to improve patient safety on CPPE’s ‘Pledge Wall’.

Matthew Shaw, interim director of CPPE, was delighted at the opportunity to collaborate with PSTRC recognising the huge value of building an evidence base into this core learning programme. He commented “It has been a great opportunity to work with PSTRC to link theory with practice and through this to support pharmacy professionals across the country to make their practice safer, and to reduce the risks to people using our services.”

PhD Fellow Focus: Ahmed Ashour

3 May

Ahmed Ashour_cropped

Ahmed Ashour is the latest PhD student to join the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre at The University of Manchester. Ahmed began his PhD in January 2018, having graduated with a distinction MPharm degree in the summer of 2017. He has worked in community pharmacy since 2014 in a variety of roles including as a dispenser, pre-registration pharmacist and ultimately a community pharmacist. Ahmed’s main passion derives from personal development and he has taken an active interest in ways of developing communication skills, especially in young people.

Ahmed’s research will revolve around identifying the skills that are essential to patient safety in community pharmacy. These skills are complementary to the technical knowledge acquired by pharmacists at university and while on their pre-registration placement. Since the 1970s, other sectors have extensively researched the impact non-technical skills have on outcomes, with many areas in healthcare now using specific classifications to identify these skills, in addition to the elements and behaviours attributed to safe practice.

Ahmed aims to present these skills to be able to ensure pharmacists in the future are well equipped with the skills that are necessary for the central role they now play in the health of communities all around the country. Ahmed will aim to identify these skills by first looking at the role community pharmacists currently play within the healthcare team, and then extracting the skills that are required to complete the tasks involved within this role.

British Journal of General Practice Research Conference 2018

3 May

BJGP banner & Sudeh combined

Dr Sudeh Cheraghi-Sohi recently attended the inaugural British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) Conference, held at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), on March 23rd. This one-day conference was opened by Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, and the journal’s editor Professor Roger Jones. Plenaries were provided by Professor Richard Hobbs and Professor Pali Hungin, who gave an overview of some the key primary care research successes and discussed the future of general practice respectively.

Common to both talks was the focus on the growing primary care workforce crisis and the increasing workload that the diminishing workforce is attempting to deliver. From a patient safety perspective, safe staffing levels in hospitals and from an access perspective, GP provision are critical to safe service delivery.

Various solutions were suggested and the acknowledgement that there was no magic bullet. Dr Cheraghi-Sohi gave an oral presentation on her work on measuring diagnostic errors in UK general practice. An audience of primarily clinicians attended the fifteen minute presentation and engaged in a lively and positive debate on the topic once the presentation finished covering various aspects of the methods and findings. Indeed, the issue of workload was discussed and how this may contribute to the increasing occurrence of diagnostic errors.

In addition to the oral presentations, poster sessions and workshops on critical reading, peer review and how to beat procrastination in your writing were offered throughout the day.  In summary, there was a well-balanced structure to the conference programme with plenty of free-time for networking.

Health Innovation Manchester Patient Safety Collaborative

3 May

The PSTRC’s second core aim is to deliver “a translation pipeline” that feeds the outputs, products and learning from our work to local and national policymakers and health and care providers. The PSTRC works closely with Health Innovation Manchester, which is an academic health science system that brings together the research, education and clinical excellence of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)-designated Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) with the expertise and national connections of the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GM AHSN). This will ensure scarce financial and workforce resources are used to provide value for money and safer health and care.

The PSTRC has developed strong links with the Health and Social Care system in Greater Manchester and Health Innovation Manchester, as well as the Patient Safety Collaboratives and Academic Health Science Networks in Greater Manchester and the East Midlands.  PSTRC staff are members of the Health Innovation Manchester Patient Safety Collaborative Steering Group (Ashcroft, Campbell) and the Research and Evaluation Committee for Patient Safety Collaborative-East Midlands (Waring).

Examples of specific projects will include the PSTRC working with:

  • The Greater Manchester Patient Safety Collaborative on its deteriorating patient agenda with plans to develop an ‘early warning’ tool for identifying and responding to deteriorating patients following discharge from hospital to a community setting
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust on on optimising safe follow-up and patient experience after discharge from out-patient care
  • A range of health and care and voluntary organisations in developing its research on homelessness
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement to reduce the level of medication error across the NHS
  • NICE, DHSC, NHS England and Health Education England to reduce suicide rates and self-harm
  • The Manchester Patient Safety Collaborative to implement the Patient Safety Toolkit across Greater Manchester.

How was it for you? Reflections on involvement

3 May

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This edition’s reflection comes from Lauren Worrall, a pharmacist who is involved in the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative.

Lauren, why did you become involved in the Greater Manchester Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative?

My motivation to join the collaborative was to receive training on different skills and techniques to improve patient safety within my own practice area.  Furthermore I wanted to explore the world of research within pharmacy.

How do you think the Greater Manchester PSTRC benefitted from your involvement – what difference do you feel that you made?

As a group we devise potential ways to improve practice and develop various interventions.  As an individual I can then go out and test the efficacy of the interventions in pharmacy practice settings. My experience in community pharmacy allows me to positively contribute to the work of the collaborative.

Personally and professionally, how do you feel you benefitted from your involvement?

Getting involved with the group has allowed me to work with other pharmacists and safety experts to reflect upon and improve my own practice. It has also afforded me a better knowledge of what is involved in research.

Would you recommend becoming involved in research to other healthcare professionals? If so, why?

Participating in research allows you to be creative and explore innovative methods in whichever healthcare setting you are working in. If you are interested in improving your practice and that of others then I would highly recommend getting involved.

Incorporating lay members into our Executive Management Board

3 May

Patient safety isn’t just about medicine, medication, medical procedures or treatments – it is about people; both those who deliver care and those who receive it or work in partnership together.   The PSTRC focuses on working with members of the public, patients, carers and stakeholders (health professionals, pharmacists, local and national policymakers etc), with an Involvement and Engagement strategy to ensure that our research is “carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public, patients or stakeholders rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them”. The PSTRC is committed to actively consulting, listening to and involving patients, carers, publics and stakeholders at all stages of research to deliver and embed involvement and engagement through partnership. This is integral to all our projects.

However, the patient/carer/public voice is important also in terms of governance – is the PSTRC doing what it said it would do well and to budget; as well as whether it is involving and engaging the appropriate people in its research etc.  The PSTRC has recruited one of two non-executive lay members (Angela Ruddock) as a full member of its Executive Management Board, which is chaired by Chris Brookes (Medical Director at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust) and whose membership includes David Dalton (CEO Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Care Alliance NHS Group).

The Executive Management Board oversees the Greater Manchester PSTRC and holds the PSTRC’s Leadership to account for the management and performance of the Centre. The non-executive lay members will broaden the accountability of the Centre by providing a challenging influence at Executive Board level and assurance on features such as budget, timeline and milestones, adherence to the Centre’s primary brief and purpose and its actual achievements can thus be measured in a more rounded way.