Turning Point’s journey began 50 years ago. It is now firmly established as a leader in health and social care, offering over 200 specialist and integrated services across England and Wales. Turning Point’s focus is on substance misuse, learning disability, mental health and employment.
Turning Point works in partnership with health and social care commissioners and other social care providers to better understand the needs of the local community and so deliver highly tailored personalised care programmes that actively help individuals achieve independence and build a better life.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Turning Point invests every penny back into care and the communities it serves.
The main aim of Turning Point is to provide efficient and integrated health and social care services for the people who need them most and it is continually finding new ways to engage with the most vulnerable members of the population. A robust, highly flexible technology infrastructure is critical to supporting Turning Point’s constantly evolving organisation and the changing needs of users. Since 2006, it has relied on Datix patient safety software to log, track and manage all incidents during a period of cultural transformation and expansion.
According to John Walton-Keane, Risk Information Advisor at Turning Point, “Before Datix, we used a variety of spreadsheets to log patient safety incidents but the number recorded was always pretty low and didn’t give us a clear picture of our performance across Turning Point’s diverse business areas. As we grew in size, it was clear that automating our processes was the only way forward, essential to knowledge sharing and pivotal to delivering an efficient set of services that would ultimately help people get their lives back on track.”
Various systems in the marketplace were evaluated and Datix was chosen for its proven track record in the health sector as well as positive recommendations from one of Turning Point’s Managers who had previously used Datix whilst working in the NHS.
In the last eight years, Turning Point has taken advantage of the capabilities of Datix to create a highly efficient patient safety framework that has been customised to meet the needs of the organisation. Over time, Turning Point has adopted the latest web-based technology for incident management and now uses additional modules for complaints, compliments and claims management.
When Turning Point first installed Datix it noticed a dramatic rise in the number of incidents reported. The number has grown as the solution has become more sophisticated over the years and the complexity of the services provided by Turning Point increased.
"The implementation of Datix has effectively made Health and Safety an intrinsic part of Turning Point’s overall corporate strategy, driving cross-functional efficiencies and operational improvements." Sara Jones, Head of Risk and Assurance
Sara Jones, Head of Risk and Assurance at Turning Point takes up the story, “From the very beginning, the simplicity of the Datix system, combined with an excellent communications and training programme, encouraged widespread acceptance among our staff and yielded some phenomenal results. Our incident reporting has risen and surpassed the growth rate of our expanding organisation. At the same time, there has been a steady decline in the number of serious incidents reported, a shift that reflects the contribution Datix reporting has made to our overall risk management programme.”
Turning Point has been impressed by the strategic value provided by the detail and accuracy of the management information held in the Datix system, particularly important in a disparate organisation offering many different services. At a glance, staff can use the data to identify trends and highlight particular issues with specific services, giving them the evidence they need to make changes to services and promote Health and Safety best practice. For example, if they see an increase in slips, trips and falls during winter, they can target individuals with mobility issues and offer them advice at the right time to prevent serious incidents, a situation that would not have been possible prior to the advent of Datix.
Since using Datix, Turning Point has also witnessed a reduction in the number of complaints received. In addition, with all information stored in one place, risk management is now more efficient, and a big improvement over the traditional process that relied on multiple, often less accurate paper records.
By far the biggest benefit of Datix is how it has been utilised to help influence a change in culture. As Sara Jones explained, “The implementation of Datix has effectively made Health and Safety an intrinsic part of Turning Point’s overall corporate strategy, driving cross-functional efficiencies and operational improvements.”
For example, it is now possible to link an increase in certain mental health incidents to specific times of the day or week when there might be specific issues that previously went undetected. This information can then be passed to the most relevant department, giving them the opportunity to take corrective action swiftly and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.
Sara Jones continues, “Today, around 3,000 staff - everyone from managers, team leaders and frontline staff know exactly what Datix is and why it is there. The transparency of the system has allowed discussion and essential learning to be shared across the organisation.”
Recently, Turning Point has updated the Datix solution, configuring the forms, adding new questions and even introducing new functionality to establish the need for formal investigations in the unlikely event of the death of a service user.
Next on the horizon is hopefully a move to the newest web-based versions of Datix modules for complaints and compliments management to give significant time savings and encourage increased feedback throughout Turning Point’s rich and complex organisation.
Sara and her team also plan to maximise the potential of the Datix Dashboards module to support localised good governance meetings and focus on key hotspot areas that require immediate action.
Sara concluded, “We look forward to working with Datix to drive further improvements in quality and service. Taking advantage of continual product innovation from Datix, we aim to create a complete system that is firmly embedded within our safety and quality framework and underlines our commitment to good governance and industry best practice.”
Turning Point is a leading social enterprise providing health and social care services for people with complex needs in 200 locations across England and Wales, including community services, primary care settings, hospitals and prisons. For 50 years we have worked with those affected by drug and alcohol misuse, mental health conditions, offending behaviour, unemployment issues and people with a learning disability. For more information, please visit www.turning-point.co.uk