Feasibility of volatile detection for naso-gastric tube placement

Lead: Dr Angela Grange
Collaborators: Caroline Reynolds, Roboscientific, Medipex

The Achieving Behaviour Change (ABC) for patient safety approach draws on behaviour change theory to equip healthcare staff with the skills and tools to implement successful behavioural change projects in their teams.  Developed by the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group and delivered in partnership with the Improvement Academy (IA), the ABC approach comprises a one-day workshop, online toolkit and post-workshop support for patient safety projects. We have equipped over 950 healthcare staff from acute Trusts, general practices, care homes and community organisations to use the ABC approach to date, and continue to support its spread, working with the IA. CLAHRC YH has supported the evaluation of the ABC approach. 


We applied the ABC approach to the practice of pH testing for correct naso-gastric tube placement. The aim was to increase the use of pH testing and reduce x-rays. We found that as a result of our work in three Trusts, use of x-ray fell from 55-24% with estimated net savings per participating Trust of £29,573 (first  year) to £57,205 (subsequent years) and £1M and £1.94M respectively across the region. Our work sparked innovative ideas about how new technology could overcome some of the existing problems of naso-gastric tube placement. With CLAHRC funding we worked with Bradford THFT to proof of concept test, and assess the user acceptability of, a new portable, non-invasive device to check naso-gastric tube placement.  Working with industry partner Roboscientific and Medipex, we secured £1m  from the Medical Research Council, through their Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme, to develop  and test a prototype device, called “NG-Sure."


In the UK, the ABC approach underpins the patient safety work within the Y&H Patient Safety Translational Research Centre YH (UK) more information can be found on the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research (YQSR) website.