Patient safety briefing film launched

Patients at NHS hospitals across the country will soon be benefitting from ‘airline style’ safety advice about their stay in hospital in an attempt to reduce avoidable complications – such as blood clots, pressure ulcers, or falls.

Based on the concept of safety advice given on aeroplanes before they take off, patients will be shown a film and provided with an information card to read to help them look after themselves during their hospital stay.

The safety advice looks at simple things patients can do while in hospital to make their stay safer. The advice focuses on eight areas:

  • falls prevention
  • blood clots
  • infection prevention
  • speaking to staff if patients have any problems or questions
  • medicine safety
  • pressure ulcer avoidance
  • correct personal information
  • discharge from hospital

The safety advice is being supported by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the national Sign up to Safety campaign, which has a mission to improve patient safety in the NHS and make it the safest healthcare system in the world.

The film has been developed by Haelo, an innovation and improvement centre in Salford, in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and is based on a patient safety card developed by Guys’ and St Thomas’.

Three NHS organisations: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust; and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have piloted the film with their patients. Feedback from staff and patients has been incorporated into the final film.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “We want to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. The airline industry leads the way on safety and this film echoes their simple method of ensuring people know how to stay safe. This film will give patients more confidence and let them know what to expect during their stay in hospital.”

Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Staff working within the NHS work extremely hard, day in day out, to ensure the safety and welfare of their patients. It is important for patients to know that they can also play their part and the Safety Briefings will provide patients with some important tips for keeping themselves safe whilst they are in hospital. Many of these measures are extremely simple such as keeping mobile in bed to avoid pressure ulcers, telling staff if any of their personal information is incorrect or if they don’t understand their treatment. They are things that can make all the difference to the patient.”

Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “We developed the original idea for an airline style safety card as part of our award winning ‘Welcome Pack’. It has been extremely well received since its launch in June 2012 and is part of our commitment to continuous quality and safety improvements that enhance the overall experience of our patients.”

NHS Trusts can currently show the film to patients in two of ways: it can be easily incorporated into Trust websites so patients can watch it before they come into hospital; and hospitals with the Hospedia patient media system could also be able to have the film uploaded free of charge to show patients once in hospital.