Safety Matters at the RUH
Patient safety is going to be the talking point at the Royal United Hospital all next week (from 15 November) as the hospital opens its doors to visitors and potential patients, to give them a chance to talk face-to-face with clinical staff about different aspects of patient care.
Ensuring the safety of everyone who comes into contact with health services is a year round priority at the RUH and this public patient safety awareness event will demonstrate that patient safety is always at the top of their agenda.
Assistant Director of Nursing Jo Miller, who is leading the event, says: "This is an opportunity for visitors to see up close different aspects of patient care and to find out how we keep patients safe at the RUH.
"There'll be demonstrations and displays throughout the afternoon, such as how we use a 'Bair Hugger' - a special 'hot air' blanket - to keep patients warm during surgery and we'll explain how this helps to reduce wound infections and aid a patient's recovery.
"Visitors can also hear about the World Health Organisation Surgical Safety Checklist we use in the operating theatres - it's rather like a pre-flight check list - which is referred to as final check immediately before anaesthesia and surgery is undertaken.
"They can see how a ventilator works and talk to Intensive Care Staff about how we monitor vital signs and what this tells us about a patient's condition. They can also learn more about how we work together with our colleagues in the community, from day one, to plan a 'safe to go home date' – a realistic date for when someone is likely to be medically and therapeutically ready for discharge.
"Find out how we involve patients in their own care by supporting them to manage their own medicines as well as how we make sure they fully understand their treatment before they go home.
"We'll also talk about how we prevent and control infection within the hospital and visitors will be fascinated to see just how clean their hands really are when they use the 'light box'. And we'll be talking to the public about the ways in which they can help us to prevent Norovirus (the diarrhoea and vomiting bug) coming into the hospital this winter, as well as enlisting their support to encourage people to stay away from hospital if they have any symptoms.
"This public patient safety awareness event, which starts at 3pm and finishes at 5pm, is an opportunity to get answers to the questions you've always wanted to ask about patient safety."
National Patient Safety Week showcases aspects of the Regional Patient Safety Programme, which is aimed at making healthcare in the South West of England the safest in the country.