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Patient Safety

What are we doing in East Kent Hospitals to keep our patients safe? 

Patient Safety is a serious global public health issue. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care due to avoidable accidents, complications and mistakes. 

Our aim, over four years, is to reduce our death rate to one of the lowest in the NHS and reduce the number of “harm events” that patients experience by 10 per cent. Working across our organisation we ensure that each of our clinical divisions have plans in place to meet our high patient safety expectations in line with our patient safety strategy which is outlined below, it focuses on a range of activities that will help us enable greater patient safety and address clinical priorities.  

EKHUFT Patient Safety Strategy 2015 - 2018

Key goals

  • To minimise the risk of hospital acquired urinary catheter related infection.

  • To reduce the incidents of blood clots, eg deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, by ensuring all patients get the right protection

  • To improve safety on discharge for patients on high risk medicines, eg Wafarin, by improving our communication with both patients and GPs

  • To improve outcomes for patients with sepsis

  • To ensure that our processes for transfer of patients between teams and hospitals are as safe as possible.

For more information, please download our Patient Safety Plan 2015-18 leaflet


East Kent Hospitals signs up to safety

In August 2014 we joined a national NHS initiative called ‘Sign up to Safety’ as part of our ongoing commitment to providing safe care.

Our Patient Safety Strategy is designed to reduce unnecessary deaths and ‘harm events’ year on year as measured by our mortality rate and auditing of case notes and this new initiative forms part of that strategy. As part of the initiative we have signed up to five pledges that are summarised below, but can be seen in full in our sign-up document.

1. Putting safety first by committing to reduce avoidable harm by half and making our goals and plans public.

2. Continually learn by making our Trust more resilient to risks, by acting on the feedback of patients and measuring how safe our services are.

3. Honesty by being transparent with people about our progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong.

4. Collaborate by taking a leading role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use.

5. Supporting and helping people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate the progress.

At the launch Dr Mike Durkin, Director of Patient Safety, NHS England said, “We must wholeheartedly embrace Sign up to Safety to reach out into every healthcare setting and make a lasting difference to the culture of the NHS. Working together we can create a safer NHS that is open and honest.”

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People feel safe, reassured and involved

Clinical Priorities

  • Improve the identification, management and escalation of deteriorating patients
  • Ensure fail-safe processes for avoiding 'Never Events'
  • Improve systems of handover


Enabling Patient Safety

  • Providing appropriate systems, tools and resources to support patient safety improvement
  • Develop robust improvement approaches
  • Leadership to embed patient safety culture
  • Seek innovative practices
  • Seek education opportunities for all staff

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