American experts to lead improvements at Shropshire hospitals

An American hospital, which is regarded as one of the safest in the world, is set to mentor hospitals in Shropshire in a bid to improve care.

American experts to lead improvements at Shropshire hospitals

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) has been revealed as one of only five trusts across the country set to benefit from the development programme led by internationally acclaimed experts from the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle.

Over the next five years staff from America's "hospital of the decade" will mentor clinical and management teams on some of the principles that have made it successful and awarded for its care.

  • The Virginia Mason Institute, which boasts a 336-bed acute care hospital, was the first health body to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety

  • Through the system it also pioneered innovative electronic dashboards to remind clinicians to address specific patient issues

  • After creating and implementing the Virginia Mason Production System, nurses were able to spend more time with their patients. Virginia Mason estimated that on average nurses spent about 35 per cent of their time in direct patient care. After transforming its systems this increased to 90 per cent.

  • The development programme is led by the NHS Trust Development Authority and will mean that patients here can benefit from the American institute’s systems.

They will bring their system to SaTH, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, to help them to deliver improvements in healthcare.

Peter Herring, chief executive of SATH, said he hoped the programme would help the region's hospitals to become one of the safest in the world.

He said: "When applications were invited for this trailblazing partnership we jumped at the chance. The selection process was extremely competitive with three stages of assessment.

"I am extremely proud that the bid put together by the board with clinical colleagues across the trust has been successful, and as I leave the trust the team here is looking forward to this exciting programme of change that over time will bring enormous benefits to our patients and staff alike.

"The goals of this programme really resonate with the feedback I hear every day from colleagues and patients about their ambitions for care in our hospitals.

"Coming to work in the NHS you want to give your best. But, sometimes it can be difficult to deliver improvements alongside doing the day job. So, by partnering with the USA's 'Hospital of the Decade' this will bring skills and support to frontline teams to change care for the better.

"I am certain that being part of this five-year development programme will be of huge benefit to patients and communities in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales.

"Today people talk about organisations like Virginia Mason as leaders in healthcare practice. After this programme, they will talk about the journey by nurses, doctors and colleagues across SaTH to become one of the safest hospitals in the world."

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said: "I want to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world, powered by a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

"The achievements at Virginia Mason over the past decade are truly inspirational and I'm delighted they will now help NHS staff to learn the lessons that made their hospital one of the safest in the world – patients will see real benefits as a result."

Bob Alexander, chief executive of the NHS TDA, said: "This is great news for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Since the NHS TDA began, we have focused on helping organisations to improve. The Virginia Mason approach concentrates on ensuring each and every patient gets the safest, best quality care every time. Virginia Mason have demonstrated over the last decade that by getting the quality of care right for each patient this improves productivity and lowers cost through reducing waste.

"Through this partnership, five NHS Trusts will eliminate waste and concentrate on the things that add real value for patients and staff, leading to better, safer, more efficient care. They will lead the way in bringing some of the most innovative ways of working from one of the safest hospitals in the world into the NHS."

Staff from the Virginia Mason Institute will spend time at SATH over the course of the next five years helping the doctors, nurses and leaders figure out how they can improve using the tools developed in Seattle.

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