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Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme

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 here. 


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 current adoption and spread work

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

We are supporting our acute trusts to improve the use of the COPD Discharge Bundle, with the aim of 80% of patients receiving all elements.

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

From April 2021, we will be supporting our acute trusts to implement and improve the use of the Asthma Discharge Bundle, with the aim of 80% of patients receiving being assessed for all elements.

Outside of the A&S-SIP commission, we are also supporting NHS organisations to access funding through phase three of the Pathway Transformation Fund. The fund aims to increase the adoption of the 20/21 Rapid Uptake Products (RUP). The 20/21 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). Click here to find out more about the 20/21 Rapid Uptake Products. 

Safe Tracheostomy Care Programme

The Safe Tracheostomy Care Programme aims 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) has been developed by the NTSP and AHSNs to support teams across England adopt and use these safety interventions. The project is due to run until April 2021.

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 local network of staff involved in tracheostomy care, we are facilitating shared learning to improve the consistency of the elements listed above and as well as identifying any further areas for improvement.

For further information on the above projects, please contact Senior Project Manager, Megan Kirbyshire: megan.kirbyshire@nhs.net


Past and present 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.

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