Scheme to stop patients in Portsmouth getting worse in hospital gets national award nomination

QA Hospital
QA Hospital

A SCHEME to stop hospital patients deteriorating quickly has been nominated for an award.

Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Time to ACT programme has been shortlisted in the Patient Safety category of the Health Services Journal Awards.

They will be up against nine other hospital trusts for the award after 144 entries were submitted. 

Sara Blakeley, a critical care consultant at QA and the project’s clinical lead, said she was pleased to see its successes celebrated.

‘We know that some people get better when they come into hospital,’ she said.

‘But some people get worse and there is a whole series of events that happen when a patient is deteriorating.

‘The Time to ACT programme is about Assessment, Contact and Treatment.

‘It is about giving the patient the right treatment, at the right time.’

The scheme has been implemented across QA Hospital since December last year and gets all ward staff to identify if a patient looks to be getting worse.

Sara said the first part of Time to ACT is recognising someone is deteriorating. It encourages staff to use their clinical knowledge and gut feeling rather than just relying on the patients’ vitals.

She added: ‘Once we have made that assessment, that is when it’s time to get other personnel involved so either a doctor or specialist.

‘It is about triaging the patient and getting that new clinician to make their own assessment.

‘Then, once that’s happened it is choosing the right treatment by the right person.

‘But it is also looking at getting the correct pathway for the patient too. Some of them need a high level of specialist care but for some, the reason they are deteriorating is because they are near the end of their life.

‘It just prompts staff to think a little more.’

Sara said she was impressed with how staff have got behind Time to ACT when many are under pressure and extremely busy.

She added the HSJ Awards nomination justified why it is such an important scheme.

‘This programme had been in the pipeline for a little while but that’s because we wanted to get it right,’ she said.

‘We have got everyone onboard though and staff have been fantastic.

‘We are really excited about the nomination.’

Finalists will be announced at the HSJ Awards on November 21 at the O2, London.