Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
Helping the healthcare system reduce the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals is the focus of a comprehensive report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB).
The report charts a four-month patient safety investigation that was launched following concern that patients were contracting COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.
The aim of HSIB’s investigation was to understand the factors that could contribute to the risk of transmission, how the NHS operates to reduce that risk and where there may be opportunities to reduce that risk even further. The investigation represented the voices of those working across the health service, from strategic national planners to hospital porters. It also captured the experiences of patients and families, providing further insight into the challenges of managing the transmission of COVID-19.
The report concludes with short, medium and long term measures that support both immediate and future responses as the NHS continues to tackle the virus. The report makes eight safety recommendations, to the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and NHSX. The recommendations are as follows:
Kathryn Whitehill, Principal National Investigator at HSIB commented:
“We were moved by stories shared and grateful for the input from families, staff and system leaders. We know the profound personal and organisational impact this virus has had; our intention is not to criticise the NHS response rather set out a prospective view of safety that supports their efforts as cases rise and we head into winter.
“The spread of coronavirus in hospitals presents a risk to patient safety. It also puts enormous strain on the workforce and the fear of contracting COVID-19 in hospital can deter patients from attending hospital who may need urgent treatment for other conditions.
“Our investigation sought to understand factors that helped or hindered efforts to manage the risk of transmission on hospital wards. We also examined the NHS response in the context of the ‘hierarchy of controls’ – a widely used approach that sets out measures to mitigate risk ranked by their effectiveness. Our report sets out 39 key findings that cover everything from hospital design and guidance to PPE and testing capacity. This detailed insight enabled us to develop safety recommendations that would aid short and long term planning and ensure that NHS trusts had measures they could implement immediately.”
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.