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New incident response scheme launched at Hillingdon Hospital

The way in which patient safety incidents are handled at the Trust is changing under a new scheme. The nationwide-led Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) sets out a new approach to developing and maintaining effective systems and processes for responding to incidents.

The scheme, which replaces the Serious Incident Framework, is designed to improve learning and patient safety across the Trust, and full implementation is expected around April.

The new Patient Safety Investigation Response Framework places an emphasis on individual organisations assessing their patient safety risks, prioritising resources and developing new investigation plans based on this. It also acknowledges the importance of engaging patients and families as part of the investigation process.

Our patient safety specialist, Ed Cox, explained how PSIRF has come about and the impact it will have on the incidents which are reported by staff at the Trust.

"It's [about] changing the way that we look at incidents," he said. "One of the big things that PSIRF is changing is a move away from that focus on the level of harm to a focus on the potential for learning.

"One of the big things that PSIRF is changing is a move away from focus on the level of harm to a focus on the potential for learning"

"We want to ensure that we get maximum learning to prevent incidents from happening again.

"If a patient does come to harm and we do a really thorough investigation, we are going to get some great learning and quickly help prevent further similar events happening. Shorter investigation times will ensure that the event is still fresh in people's memory."

"A complex innovation in the NHS’s approach to incident investigation"

The patient safety learning chief executive, Helen Hughes, added: "Too often the existing approach to patient safety investigation in the NHS does not result in the learning and improvement needed to prevent future incidents of avoidable harm.

"To ensure that reviews and investigations result in a clear understanding of the causal factors of harm and lead to safety improvements, there will need to be a significant training programme for staff in a range of human factors informed approaches."

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