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Working to keep patients safe

Reviewing patients’ medication needs and supporting people with catheters to manage their own conditions better are just two examples of how patient safety is constantly being improved within the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS).

On World Patient Safety Day (September 17) staff across health and care services in East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham will be continuing to support their patients and service users to keep them safe from harm.

The introduction of a urinary catheter passport across the ICS helps those people with catheters to understand, use and look after the equipment, as well as enabling them or their carers to keep a record to support their clinicians. This reduces the number of infections, it increases cooperation between patients and medical teams and boosts patient confidence.

Care home residents’ safety is being improved by work to increase their hydration levels, which reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections and the amount of antibiotics being prescribed and also the amount of hospital admissions. Hydration can also reduce falls among elderly people – one of the major causes of hip fractures, which can result in lengthy hospital stays and a dramatic deterioration in overall health, wellbeing and independence for older people.

Just some of the other projects in the ICS area that are supporting patient safety include: work to reduce the amount of medication that some patients are taking unnecessarily; a programme of identifying people at risk of becoming frail and supporting them to live well for longer, and; a scheme to help home care workers to recognise and address deterioration in the health of people living at home.

Fiona Edwards, Lead of the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System, said: “These are just some of the many examples of how the organisations that make up the Integrated Care System place a real premium on patient safety and work extremely hard to ensure the services we commission and deliver for local people are safe.

“I hope they will show local residents that by working together across health, local authority and the voluntary sector, we are able to use our combined experience and expertise to not only deliver services that are safe but also to continuously look for ways to make them even safer.”

Frimley Health and Care