Professor Iqbal Singh, Consultant Physician has been commissioned by Health Education England to lead on a programme to provide training for safety in the care of older people.
Its objective is to improve safety in hospitals, care homes and the wider community and ensure the values of dignity and respect are always upheld. This is a great opportunity to help build a culture of professionalism which recognises the importance of safety, dignity and compassion in the care of older people, and facilitates a sharing of knowledge, skill and innovation. With the help of eminent colleagues and experts from this region and far beyond we will enhance the learning experience of our workforce and improve the care experience of many older people.
Historically the NHS has recognised the need for patient safety and over the last two decades there have been a number of reviews, reports and initiatives. However despite these concentrated efforts over the last 15-20 years, patient safety is still an immense and ongoing challenge for the NHS with over 1.4 million reported incidences per year, with around 50,000 leading to moderate harm in acute hospitals and with a much less clearer picture in primary care and communities and social care settings.
The incidence and episodes around avoidable harm can have devastating consequences for patients, their families, for the staff involved in their care and for other agencies involved. The human cost of some of these episodes is immeasurable. Occurrences such as Mid-Staffs have a huge impact on the morale of caring staff and are a clear sign that it is time for action to be taken and lessons to be learned. The Commission for Education and Safety in Training in its report recommended that ‘all staff should develop the skills to be able to identify potential risks to come up with possible solutions and to be able to implement them’ (2016).
In the context of the care of older people, we are living in a society where people are living longer and healthier with improvements in their quality of life and this is clearly a success. Demographic projections show that more than 4% of the population will be aged over 85 and greater than 20% will be over the age of 65 by the year 2033. We need a new approach to address the issues around improving safety in hospitals, in nursing and residential care homes and in the wider community. We still have a huge ongoing challenge around falls and frailty, pressure ulcers and VTE, dementia and mental illness and around nutrition and polypharmacy. There also is the need for providing medical, nursing and social care that is compassionate and caring and treats people with dignity and respect.
The centre aims to make a major contribution leading on training and education of the workforce within the health and social care sector on issues around improving skills and knowledge and equally focusing on embedding a culture of compassion and respect through influencing behaviour and attitudes at individual, team and organisational level and also empowering teams to innovate in developing a culture of learning and professionalism, persistently nurturing continuous improvement.
The Centre has wide support and commitment from health professionals and academics, senior managers, leaders in community and health and social care organisations across the North West and nationally.
The Centre of Excellence for Safety in the Care of Older People” is hosted by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and based at the Acorn Primary Health Care Centre in Accrington
Iqbal Singh OBE
Mr David Peat
Professor Rob Campbell & Mr Gurpreet Singh
Mrs Stephanie Singh
Co – Chairs
Dr Arturo Vilches and Mr Mizan Muhammad
INTERNATION RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Co – Chairs
Dr Arturo Vilches and Professor Iqbal Singh OBE
Professor Rob Campbell