17 September 2019
Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) are celebrating the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Patient Safety Day on Tuesday, 17 September.
First of all, the PSC team is touring Wessex, awarding prizes to teams that have been nominated by their organisational patient safety leads. Dressed in blue from head to toe, the team head out on their road trip starting from Southampton, towards Salisbury, travelling on to Bournemouth, Dorchester and then all the way back to Chilworth via a few more worthy winning teams. Follow their progress on Twitter and track their journey.
Southampton Guildhall and clock tower is also being lit in orange to mark the day.
Tracy Broom, Associate Director for Patient Safety Collaborative, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to mark the day by undertaking a road trip around the Wessex region to raise awareness of and celebrate local patient safety work.
"A few of us from the PSC team will be dressed in wigs and tutus in true blue NHS colours, awarding prizes to teams that have been nominated by their patient safety leads.”
The AHSN, both regionally across Hampshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight and southern Wiltshire and nationally, with the AHSN Network, is also working hard to improve medication safety. We have a range of projects which contribute to the WHO challenge to reduce harm from medication errors by 50%.
The AHSN, working in collaboration with local GPs and Pharmacists and the NHS Business Service Authority, developed the first national suite of polypharmacy prescribing comparators.
These are now used in 191 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and there is good evidence of impact in CCGs and GP practices who use the tool to identify patients who are at risk from harm from problematic polypharmacy and conduct medication reviews with those patients.
North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG has completed over 250 reviews and made over 800 interventions. The average number of medicines per patient fell from 9.4 to 7.6. They also demonstrated a reduction across all polypharmacy comparators at more than double the national levels.
We have also developed a polypharmacy/shared decision-making action learning set programme to help GPs and pharmacists to have better conversations with patients about their medicines. This work was well evaluated and is now being rolled out in collaboration with Health Education England across the South West.
To help support patients to talk to prescribers about their medicines issues, we have just launched our Me and My Medicines Campaign. For more information, please see: meandmymedicines.org.uk
Clare Howard, clinical lead for medicines optimisation, said: “Medicines do so much good but where we have patients taking multiple medicines we know that we can increase the risk of harm.
“Here in Wessex, we believe that the answer to problematic polypharmacy lies in the identification of patients at risk from harm combined with better discussions with patients about what is important to them.”
To find more information about all our work on medicines and polypharmacy, go here.
To find out more about the World Patient Safety Day, go here.