As an AHSN we’re committed to spreading innovation across healthcare. The overarching objective of the national Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme (A&S-SIP) is to identify and support the spread and adoption of effective and safe evidence-based interventions and practice.

Each of the four objectives of this programme intend to make medical procedures, and discharges from acute settings, as safe as possible whilst driving forward innovation within healthcare.

The national A&S-SIP is led by NHS England and Improvement. The programme is delivered locally by the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative. Read more about our Patient Safety Collaborative.


Programme ambitions

Our local delivery will focus on meeting the objectives of the national A&S-SIP:

  • Support an increase in the proportion of patients in acute hospitals receiving every element (for which they are eligible) of the British Thoracic Society COPD discharge care bundle;
  • Support an increase in the proportion of eligible sites adopting three evidence-based tracheostomy safety interventions;
  • From April 2021, support an increase in the proportion of patients in acute hospitals receiving every element (for which they are eligible) of the asthma discharge care bundle.
  • From April 2021, to support an increase in the proportion of patients receiving all elements (for which they are eligible) of the emergency laparotomy care bundle.

Our Adoption and Spread work is illustrated in our PDF driver diagram which you can download here.


Our projects

Read more about our current adoption and spread work (click the links to jump to the relevant project):

Read more about past projects which support the A&S-SIP:

Asthma and COPD resources for clinicians: beyond the bundles

On 9 November 2021, to coincide with COPD Awareness Month, the West of England AHSN ran a virtual event in collaboration with South West and Wessex AHSNs. This event ‘Beyond Bundles’ aimed to promote the use of the COPD and Asthma discharge bundles but also to look beyond them at other factors that can lead to readmissions, so that healthcare teams could start to address these while delivering the care bundles. Access the resources here.


COPD Discharge Care Bundle

COPD is the second most common lung disease in the UK with an estimated 1.2 million people living with the condition. The British Thoracic Society (BTS) developed a COPD Discharge Care Bundle with the aim of improving care and reducing readmissions for patients admitted with an acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD).

The COPD Discharge Bundle describes five high impact measures which reduce the number of patients who are readmitted following discharge from hospital after an AECOPD.

COPD Discharge Care Bundle elements:

  1. Review patients’ medication and assess inhaler technique
  2. Provide written self- management plan and emergency drug pack
  3. Offer referral for smoking cessation (where appropriate)
  4. Assess suitability for pulmonary rehabilitation
  5. Appropriate follow-up call within 72 hours of discharge

Interim results shared to mark COPD Awareness Month, November 2021:

We are supporting our acute trusts to improve the use of the COPD Discharge Bundle, with the aim of 80% of patients receiving all suitable elements. Read interim project results in our news article to mark COPD Awareness Month in November 2021. Results include a 34% increase (to June 2021) in the number of patients receiving all elements (for which they are eligible) of the COPD Discharge Bundle.

COPD Quality Improvement reports:

Outside of the A&S-SIP commission, we are also supporting one of our local systems to roll out a remote monitoring app: myCOPD. The project will work with digital champions across the BNSSG system to roll out myCOPD, alongside North Bristol NHS Trust, following receipt of NHSX funding. Read more about the myCOPD project.


Asthma Discharge Bundle

The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), 2014, found that 46% of asthma deaths were identified as being avoidable if appropriate guidelines were followed. It found that only 23% of people that died from asthma had Personal Asthma Action Plans (PAAPs) in place despite being acknowledged to improve asthma care. Additionally, prescribing errors were widespread, with excessive prescribing of reliever medication, under prescribing of preventer medication and inappropriate prescribing of long-acting beta agonist (LABA) bronchodilator inhalers. These findings prompted the British Thoracic Society to develop a care bundle for asthma.

The BTS Asthma Discharge Bundle, developed in 2015, is primarily for patients discharged from emergency departments following an acute asthma attack, but is also suitable for use in admissions wards where circumstances permit. The bundle can be applied to both adults and children over the age of 2.

The bundle consists of five elements as listed below, each of which have been demonstrated to improve patient outcomes:

  • Assessment of inhaler technique
  • Review of medications
  • Provision of a written action plan and patient self-management plan
  • Consideration of triggering and exacerbating factors
  • Appropriate follow up arrangements

We are supporting our acute trusts to implement and improve the use of the Asthma Discharge Bundle, with the aim of 80% of patients being assessed for all elements.

Outside of the A&S-SIP commission, we are also supporting NHS organisations to increase the adoption and spread of three Rapid Uptake Products (RUPs). This year’s RUPs include biologics for treating severe asthma (Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Mepolizumab and Omalizumab) and measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma (NIOX VERO and NObreath). Read more about our Rapid Uptake Products projects.


Safe Tracheostomy Care Programme

The Safe Tracheostomy Care Programme aimed to work with teams across the acute sector to improve their tracheostomy safety and care within their hospital. This programme links in with the National Tracheostomy Safety project (NTSP).

You can read the NTSP’s COVID-19 recommendations here.

To support the programme’s delivery, a new Tracheostomy Toolkit (in PDF format) was developed by the NTSP and AHSNs to support teams across England adopt and use these safety interventions.

To do this, we have worked with our acute teams to establish their use of the  following three evidence-based tracheostomy safety interventions;

  • Bedhead signs for patients
  • Standardised ‘bedside’ tracheostomy emergency equipment
  • Standardised tracheostomy daily care bundle

Through a community of practice of staff involved in tracheostomy care, we facilitated shared learning to improve the consistency of the bundle elements as well as identifying any further areas for improvement.

In September 2021, we published an article showcasing the achievements of our tracheostomy community of practice. Read more about those successes, and what’s next, here.


Past projects which support the A&S-SIP:

Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative

A precursor to our project called PreciSSIon (Preventing Surgical Site Infection across a region), the West of England AHSN formed part of the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative, which works with hospitals across three Academic Health Science Networks. Read more about PreciSSIon here. 

Emergency laparotomy is a major surgical procedure, with 30,000 to 50,000 performed every year in the UK. However at the time the Collaborative was established (in 2015) around 15% of patients were reported to die within 30 days of surgery. Over 25% of patients remained in hospital for more than 20 days after surgery, costing the NHS over £200m a year. Whilst these figures have improved since 2015, patient safety during and after emergency laparotomy remains a key priority for the NHS. Find out more about the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative here.


Get in touch

For more information on our adoption and spread projects, please contact our patient safety team.

Please visit our events page to find further details of all the latest patient safety meetings and webinars.

You can also stay up to date with our news and events by signing-up to receive a monthly West of England newsletter.

Child with a doctor

Improving patient safety

Our award-winning support for improving patient safety is central to our work in transforming health services and systems.

Read more

Medicines Safety Improvement Programme

Find out about our work to improve Medicines Safety.

Read more

Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme

Our Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme helps health and social care staff spot the signs of, and manage, deterioration.

Read more
A photo of a mother lying on a sofa with her baby on her chest.

Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme

Find out about our work across the West of England to improve maternal and neonatal patient safety.

Read more

Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme

Our Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme aims to improve patient safety for people accessing mental health services and treatment.

Read more

PreciSSIon

Find out more about our work, and download implementation resources, to reduce the incidence of surgical site infection after elective colorectal surgery.

Read more

Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative

The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) is a quality improvement project aiming to improve standards of care and outcomes for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy.

Read more
Academy resources signpost

The West of England Academy

Explore our free Academy resources to gain essential knowledge and skills for innovative thinking in healthcare. Our resources include events, toolkits and online training.

Explore the Academy