HSJ Patient Safety Award Nominations

Two of the West of England AHSN’s member organisations have been nominated across five categories in the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWMHP) received three nominations:

    • Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year (Improving Patient Safety on the Daisy Unit),
    • Mental Health Initiative of the Year (Reducing Restrictive Practice on a Medium Secure Unit) and
    • Quality Improvement Initiative of the Year (A Collaborative QI approach to improving the quality of care on the Daisy Unit).

Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath received two nominations:

      • Deteriorating Patients & Rapid Response Systems Award (Improving Patient Outcomes from Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury) and
      • Patient Safety Team of the Year (The Sepsis and Kidney Injury Prevention (SKIP) team improving outcomes for patients).

In a news release, Dr Lesley Jordan, RUH Consultant Anaesthetist and Patient Safety Lead at the RUH, said: “We’re very proud to be shortlisted and recognised for our continued work in improving outcomes for patients with sepsis and acute kidney injury.

“Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection, when a person’s immune system overreacts and starts to damage the body’s tissues and organs. Acute kidney injury is when a person’s kidneys suddenly stop working properly, usually as complication of an acute illness, and this can range from minor loss of kidney function to complete kidney failure.

“These can have serious consequences and early detection of both conditions is really important to improve outcomes for patients. We have focused on identifying the conditions as early as possible, introducing process and tools to enable our frontline staff to implement treatment promptly and improve the care we deliver. We have also established a new senior nursing support team, the Sepsis and Kidney Injury Prevention (SKIP) team, to continue to drive this work and support frontline staff.”

Nominees will be presenting their work virtually to a panel of judges to decide the category winner, which will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony in November. You can read the full list of award categories and nominations here.

The West of England AHSN wishes both AWMHP and RUH every success with their nominations.

New online video training for care home staff

Wessex and the West of England Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), and West Hampshire CCG, funded by Health Education England, have collaborated to produce a series of free videos and e-learning materials to support staff working in care homes to care for residents who are at risk of deterioration.

As recognised in a recent paper supported by North East and North Cumbria AHSN, identifying acute illness, including sepsis, amongst older adults in care homes can be difficult, and opportunities to initiate appropriate care may be missed, if illness is not recognised promptly.


The short videos describe how to take measurements from residents correctly (such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation), spots the signs of deterioration, and prevent the spread of infection.

You can access them via Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) Hub, an educational web-based platform that provides quality assured online training content for the UK’s health and care workforce here.

You can also view the full suite of videos on our designated YouTube channel.

Natasha Swinscoe, national lead for patient safety for the AHSN Network says:

“Patient safety is a guiding principle for all AHSNs. Our care homes report highlighted numerous successes that AHSNs have had working with care homes across the country. Collectively, these have the potential to save many lives and tens of millions of pounds. I am excited to see the launch of these videos, which will support care home staff to be trained in a consistent way to recognise and respond to the soft signs of deterioration”.

This is one of a range of tools which AHSNs are supporting to provide training materials to up skill people who work in care homes, which will be published on our website over the coming weeks. This follows the AHSN network report, which highlighted over 30 examples of projects delivered by England’s 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) and the AHSNs which host them, published in September 2019.

Guidance for care home staff to register for an account

To register for e-Learning for Healthcare visit this link.

Select the ‘Register’ button. Select the option ‘I am a care home or hospice worker’ then enter your care home / hospice name or postcode and select it from the options available in the drop-down list. Finally enter your care home / hospice registration code and select ‘Register’. You may need to see your employer to get this code.

If your employer does not have a code, then they need to contact the e-LfH Support Team. The Support Team can either give the employer the registration code or arrange a bulk upload of all staff.

Detailed instructions on how to gain access are available here.

Quick start guide to e-LfH hub is also available here.

Just say sepsis!

We had an excellent turnout for our third sepsis masterclass held in Taunton in early February, bringing together health professionals from across the region and with a particular focus on paediatric and maternity sepsis, as well as antibiotic stewardship.

A total of 66 attendees were at the event, representing 32 different organisations, exploring how we as healthcare professionals can fight the fight against sepsis.

The event opened with an extremely moving talk by Susanna Morrish who shared Sam’s Story, a heartbreaking account of her little boy who died from sepsis.

Other speakers included Dr Ron Daniels who talked about the work of the UK Sepsis Trust in awareness raising, Dr Mark Juniper from the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative on the NCEPOD 2015 sepsis report, and Dr Akash Deep from King’s College Hospital London on the challenges the recognition and management of paediatric sepsis. Marian Knight from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and Dr Imogen Montague from Derriford Hospital Plymouth both explored maternal sepsis, while Dr Kordo Saeed considered Procalcitonin (PCT) and its application in sepsis, SIRS and localised infections.

The slides from the event can be viewed here and you can download the full event report here.

To find out more about our work to tackle sepsis in the West of England, please contact:

Ann Remmers
Patient Safety Programme Director


Nathalie Delaney
Improvement Lead


Be sepsis savvy

Every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in a staggering 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and colon cancer combined. Sepsis is the biggest direct cause of death in UK pregnancies and affects about 10,000 children every year in the UK.

A recent report by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) emphasised the need for early recognition to saves lives.

Attendees from across the South West and West of England are gathering today at the third sepsis masterclass in Taunton with a particular focus on improving care for children and mothers with sepsis. You can follow along discussions throughout the day on Twitter using the hashtag #sepsissavvy.

The BBC programme Trust Me I’m A Doctor recently covered sepsis with some powerful stories from survivors about the impact sepsis had on their life. Here’s a clip…

NHS England has published a cross-system action plan ‘Improving outcomes for patients with sepsis’, outlining a number of actions that will be taken across the health and care landscape. This report recognised the role of Patient Safety Collaborative, part of the Academic Health Science Networks, to support local organisations to identify and spread best practice. Today’s masterclass forms part of this work.

Dr Mark Juniper, a consultant in respiratory and intensive care medicine, and Lead Clinical Co-ordinator of NCEPOD will be a speaker at today’s masterclass. Commenting on NHS England action plan, he said: “This is a really important report. If we all take action, fewer people will die from sepsis. All healthcare professionals need to be prepared to treat these patients. Improved recognition, assessment and treatment of sepsis will save lives. Reading this report and acting on its recommendations will help all of us to do this.”

Role of AHSNs and Patient Safety Collaboratives highlighted in action plan for sepsis

The cross-system action plan for sepsis was published at the end of December by NHS England.

The report highlights the role of Academic Health Science Networks and Patient Safety Collaboratives in supporting work around sepsis across the country, and the West of England regional sepsis group got a specific mention.

Dr Mark Juniper, a member of the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative, said: “This is a really important report. If we all take action, fewer people will die from sepsis. All healthcare professionals need to be prepared to treat these patients. Improved recognition, assessment and treatment of sepsis will save lives. Reading this report and acting on its recommendations will help all of us to do this.”

Read the full report on the NHS England website.