NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group deploys Datix to close the loop on incident management and improve patient safety

Fylde And Wyre Ccg
Fylde And Wyre Ccg

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) serves a population of 151,400 people inhabiting a coastal region in the county of Lancashire.

This area includes the towns of Fleetwood, Kirkham, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton and a significant number of rural villages.

Led by GPs, the CCG is responsible for planning and buying health services in the local area for the benefit of local people. The CCG receives around 200million a year from the Government and from this it plans and buys hospital and community health services.

A core function of the CCG is to ensure the services it commissions are safe and of high quality, and that patients and their families have a good experience when they use the NHS. As part of its commitment to quality, the CCG implements a series of quality programmes that are linked to Government regulators including Monitor, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and consumer watchdogs such as Healthwatch. It regularly conducts deep dive quality assurance visits on providers. This involves cross-checking multiple sources of information such as complaints data, the public voice, performance, incidents, infection rates and staffing ratios.

Every general practice is required to produce a quality improvement plan to demonstrate year-on-year quality improvements which is then published on their websites.

Taking a fresh approach to technology

Since its inception in 2013, Fylde and Wyre CCG has relied on patient safety software from Datix to monitor incidents and concerns. When the licence came up for renewal, the group decided to broaden the scope of the implementation. It took inspiration from its local Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) Midlands and Lancashire CSU who were using Datix to support the organisations award-winning Model of Insight and Involvement project designed to ensure the healthcare needs of patients are met in an effective, affordable way.

"The recent success at Midlands and Lancashire CSU prompted us to take a totally fresh look at Datix and consider new ways of using the technology." Nick Medway, Practice Engagement, Quality and Governance Manager at Fylde and Wyre CCG

According to Nick Medway, Practice Engagement, Quality and Governance Manager at Fylde and Wyre CCG, The recent success at Midlands and Lancashire CSU prompted us to take a totally fresh look at Datix and consider new ways of using the technology. We aspired to build a complete data factory to produce valuable intelligence that could be used to help close the loop across all parts of the healthcare supply chain and improve overall patient experience.

Introducing the Insight Datix Project

Fylde and Wyre CCGs vision is Insight Datix, the groups long-term project for collecting and analysing data with a dedicated Datix professional to drive it. The initiative will seek to use Datix modules for incidents, complaints, feedback and Freedom of Information requests to capture a wealth of meaningful information from all GP surgeries and healthcare providers, a move that is expected to empower commissioning colleagues to take effective decisions when planning, introducing and purchasing new services.

Nick Medway continued, Our ultimate goal is to turn the whole concept of traditional incident management on its head. Our focus is on using reported experience from Health Care Providers and Service Users to create a data rich intelligence source of shared learning, success stories and concerns within our Datix Solution that will promote best-practice across the CCGs commissioning framework.

Weekly reviews highlight the versatility of Datix

Every Tuesday, Fylde and Wyre CCG uses information held in the Datix system to conduct its weekly clinical review. The Clinical Review Group consists of two GPs and CCG staff with nursing and quality experience including the Chief Nurse, Medicines Optimisation Lead, Senior Governance Manager and the Head of Quality.

The diversity of reports discussed each week demonstrate the versatility of the Datix solution and how the data it contains and its practical application can make a real difference to changing clinical procedures and improving patient safety, Nick Medway explained.

Take for example:

Report 1 the pre-op assessment process

A patient was awaiting an operation for a chronic lung disorder and the pre-op clinic asked the GP to measure the patients lung function. Because the patient was on steroids, the practice nurse rightly decided not to do the test because it would produce a false reading. However, this led to the hospital postponing the operation. The incident was flagged up to the governance lead of the relevant healthcare provider resulting in a complete review of the pre-op assessment process.

Report 2 spotting trends

A GP reported that three patients, in a short period of time, received 3rd degree tears following instrumental intervention when giving birth. The CCG asked for statistics on this type of incident from the healthcare provider. Once the information was collated it demonstrated these were three isolated incidents rather than a more worrying trend or even a nationwide propensity that requires corrective measures to be taken.

Report 3 letters causing confusion and concern

At one stage, Fylde and Wyre CCG received reports of patients being sent copies of letters between their consultant and their GP which were full of medical or technical terms that they did not understand. This was causing unnecessary concerns. Information in Datix about the situation raised the issue and the appropriate people were approached and have now made their letters more understandable to patients and GPs alike, saving time and lowering anxiety levels.

Report 4 improved communication

Several general practices were reporting that they were not being advised quickly enough when a patient had died in hospital. This prompted Fylde and Wyre CCGs Commissioners for end-of-life care to work with the bereavement office at the hospital involved to develop a new system. GPs are now notified that a patient has died as soon as their notes arrive in the bereavement office. This has led to informed communication with relatives at GP surgeries and a more caring way of dealing with bereavement.

Communication is king

Nick Medway concluded, People trust the Datix system to provide accurate information and flag up seemingly unimportant details that, in the past, would have gone unnoticed and potentially impacted on patient safety. The widespread confidence in the technology has significantly improved communication between the CCG, GPs and other providers, reducing angst and minimising risk to patients. It really has closed the loop across the entire healthcare ecosystem leading to joined up care and a vastly improved patient experience.

About NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) serves a population of around 151,400 people inhabiting approximately 320 sq km of coast in the county of Lancashire. This includes the towns of Fleetwood, Kirkham, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton and a significant number of rural villages.

Led by family GPs, the group is responsible for planning and buying health services in the local area for the benefit of local people. It receives around 200million a year from the Government, and from this it plans and buys hospital and community health services that are both high quality and cost-effective.

For more information, please visit www.fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk

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