Evidence Based Transformation with the NHS

The overall aim of this theme is to make sure that, when people receive care in hospital or in the community, that care is safe and focussed on their need

We have been bringing together healthcare professionals, patients and researchers to make sure that:

• what we do reflects the real problems that people face

• the solutions we develop work for patients and staff alike.

Most research on patient safety has looked at what happens when things go wrong. Our approach, however, is to identify those teams and units that are doing better than average - providing exceptionally high-quality, safe care for patients. Having identified these high performers (or 'positive deviants'), we have been studying them more closely, to understand what they are doing to get such good results.  

Having studied high performers across very different services, including elective hip and knee surgery, general practice and elderly and acute care wards, we have found a remarkably consistent pattern. These safer teams share common characteristics: they are led by figureheads with a transformational leadership style, all staff views are valued, there is strong, effective communication, and a working climate of psychological safety, where staff feel safe to query decisions and suggest improvements.  

Receiving patient feedback on the safety of their care is also vitally important, so we have been looking at how patients’ feedback might be collected by hospital volunteers, by medical students as part of their education. We have also been exploring how hospital wards can make better use of the wealth of patient feedback that is received. A large action-research programme has involved staff across four wards and two trusts to co-design a 'Patient Experience Improvement Toolkit'. We are now working with the Improvement Academy to introduce the toolkit to the region and beyond.

We are also extensively involved in investigating and improving safety and care quality within mental health settings and care homes.

We are working to:

• spread our learning across the region 

• provide services and tools to support improvements in patient safety

• evaluate the cost-effectiveness of these improvements.