University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals Bristol is 'Outstanding' with Datix


A dynamic and thriving group of hospitals in the heart of Bristol.

The Trust and its 9500+ staff provide general diagnostic, medical and surgical services to the populations of central, south Bristol and the north of North Somerset, caring for approximately 350,000 people.

The Trust provides specialist services such as children’s services, cardiac and cancer services and other smaller specialist services that are nationally commissioned.

Loss of confidence leads to search for a better patient safety system.

In 2014, University Hospitals Bristol began to question the patient safety and risk management system they were using, as it was quite onerous to work with and efficiency was a major problem. “Data sets would change and the lack of a full audit trail meant we weren’t confident in the information generated.” said Sarah Wright, Head of Risk Management at University Hospitals Bristol.

With the previous system, reports would be out of date so quickly, making version control impossible. There was very little to encourage staff to take ownership of incidents, reporting was plateauing, it was taking a long time for open incidents to be resolved and the creation of monthly reports was very onerous. University Hospitals Bristol decided to look for another system that would provide them with the opportunity to improve.

Customising Datix creates greater efficiencies for University Hospitals Bristol.

The Trust started to look for another solution which was a better fit for their requirements. In 2015 University Hospitals Bristol implemented Datix across the organisation, starting with Incidents, Dashboards, Complaints, Risk and later CQC compliance.

A key differentiator for Bristol was the ability to customise forms and fields within the Datix system, which has proven especially useful when it comes to dealing with risk. “The forms are customisable and we’re now able to assign different risks to different individuals, meaning staff members know exactly what their actions are, at what stage of the process. This robust process makes it very difficult for people to do the wrong thing.”

Since 2015, Bristol has set about using the Datix system to centralise their processes, meaning everyone has easy access to a central pool of triangulated data, making reporting faster and more transparent. Processes such as complaints handling have been improved drastically, with ownership being passed back to the divisional complaints coordinators. Sarah stated, “Datix has a good reputation in the organisation and people have a high-level of confidence in the data that is produced from it.”

The recent implementation of the CQC Compliance module has meant data within the system is linked and Bristol can immediately view their current status of compliance. “It encourages people to think about exactly how the risk is going to impact compliance… it drives people to think more about what they’re saying and reporting.” Bristol performs self-assessments throughout the year and now that they are able to link the risk to the element of the regulation that it relates to, the Trust has a much clearer overview of their compliance levels. According to Sarah, “We’re able to produce a report on all of the risks associated with CQC compliance which we’ve not easily been able to do before.”

From ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Outstanding’

Since implementing Datix, University Hospitals Bristol is the first Trust to go from “Requires Improvement” to “Outstanding” with no inspections in between. Incident reporting rates have gone up, whilst the number of open incidents has gone down. They are now confident that if the CQC asks for new information, they are going to have it ready and available. Bristol realises, however, that “It’s not about really focusing on the CQC inspection, it’s about having a high standard of business as usual” and Datix has helped them achieve that. The whole team is more empowered with the dashboards of data that are shared across the whole organisation. Reporting rates and open incidents are right in front of everyone and with that knowledge Bristol can pinpoint potential problem areas and devise improvement methods.

"Datix has a good reputation in the organisation and people have a high-level of confidence in the data that is produced from it."
Sarah Wright, Head of Risk management at University Hospitals Bristol

University Hospitals Bristol is a Datix reference customer and is supportive of organisations who are considering upgrading or moving to Datix. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the benefits they have experienced directly.

University Hospitals Bristol Nhs Trust 03

Fast facts