Patient Safety Learning award

On Wednesday 26 September 2018 Haemochromatosis UK (HUK) won the Patient Safety Learning award for “engaging patients and their families in safety improvement initiatives.”

What are the Patient Safety Learning awards?

Patient Safety Learning Award 2018

Patient Safety Learning started these awards in partnership with Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) to “recognise and reward healthcare workers for making patient safety improvements, working effectively with families and improving culture to better support patient safety learning”. Haemochromatosis UK is proud to have been a part of this culture and process. As a patient organisation we work to ensure that healthcare professionals have the information and tools they need to maximise patient safety.

The awards were held on Wednesday 26th September 2018, at the Patient Safety Learning conference. In attendance were many organisations interested in patient safety, as well as keynote speakers Sir Liam Donaldson and Dr Bill Kirkup. The event was also addressed by Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

In his speech, Matt Hancock MP stated that, “Ensuring patient safety underpins everything we do” and so NHS staff need safe systems around them and a culture of patient safety”. This is ultimately what underpins Patient Safety Learning. Haemochromatosis UK is proud to have been part of such a conference and having received an award for our work.

Why did Haemochromatosis UK win?

We won this award for “defining and promoting venesection best practice”, which was in collaboration between Haemochromatosis UK, Neil McClements a haemochromatosis (GH) patient and one of our trustees, and Yvonne Francis a haematology clinical nurse specialist from Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust. Both Neil and Yvonne were in attendance at the conference to collect the award and they gave a joint presentation about “venesection best practice”

Peter Walsh, Chief Executive at AvMA and chair of the judging panel for Patient Safety Learning awards said, “The judges were particularly impressed by this initiative because of how it emanated from real patient experience and was patient-led resulting in a powerful collaboration between the patient, the NHS trust, a national charity, and is bringing about demonstrable patient safety improvement”. 

Corrina Towers, Chair of Trustees at Haemochromatosis UK said, “It’s great that HUK’s work to bring together nurses, patients, academics and professional bodies to share best practice, improve safety and drive consistency of treatment has been recognised with this award. It gives us confidence to continue our work to create venesection protocols and training resources so that any healthcare professional treating any GH patient in any setting can access the right guidance at the right time.”  

Neil McClements, stated that, We’re honoured to have won this award for patient safety against stiff competition. It shows just how effective Haemochromatosis UK has been at championing patient safety by bringing together partners across the NHS, in this patient led initiative.”

Yvonne Francis, said, “I feel this award demonstrates how patient and clinicians can work in partnership together to identify and achieve a goal that benefits both patient and the clinicians”.

Background: Venesection study day – sharing best practice.

Elements of a Venesection

Through a conversation held with Neil and many of the patients we work with about the treatments they receive for GH, Haemochromatosis UK found that this is hugely varied. A consultation process that followed with different venesection teams found that there was no standardised and nationally recognised guidelines for the process, or no shared knowledge of “best practice”. HUK thus collaborated with Yvonne Francis, a specialist nurse based in Guys Hospital London, to deliver a training day for all nursing staff involved in the venesection process.

Group work at venesection study day 2018

In April 2018, we held our first venesection study day focusing on genetic haemochromatosis. This was organised to give delegates a good working knowledge of haemochromatosis and the specific challenges GH patients face. The attendees were able to listen to the Fernau lectures – named after our founder Janet Fernau – which is a presentation that provides attendees with the most current research and expert voices on haemochromatosis. They also heard from Neil, who explained his experience as a patient.

Throughout the day, the nurses were able to speak to different venesection teams, share best practice and find out more about how to support GH patients. All nurses received a ‘hospital pack’ which contained venesection diaries, information booklets, posters and healthy eating guides.

What next?

Our venesection day was hugely successful, and from it, came the idea to launch a venesection best practice document which became part of an ongoing collaboration between Haemochromatosis UK, Neil McClements and Yvonne Francis from Guys and St Thomas Trust.

Yvonne Francis said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the best practice guidelines”

Neil McClements stated that, “We’re continuing to work on this initiative with partners from Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust , the Royal College of Nursing & University of Derby. We hope to publish our best practice venesection guidelines and training materials in Spring 2019 – and provide these essential resources for use across the NHS nationally.”

We will keep all members and interested bodies up to date with these guidelines, follow us on our social media to hear more news related to Haemochromatosis UK