There has been an increase in the percentage of patients receiving ‘Harm Free Care’2 according to data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). In April 2012, when data was first recorded, 89.7 per cent of the patients surveyed received harm-free care. This figure has increased to 93.6 per cent in March 2014.
The NHS Safety Thermometer tool was developed by the HSCIC to support patient safety as part of a wider programme of work involving frontline NHS clinicians, improvement experts and the Department of Health. Using the data submitted by organisations from the monthly patient surveys3, the tool provides valuable data for frontline teams to monitor their performance in delivering harm free care.
The HSCIC has today released the first of a series of annual publications based on the NHS Safety Thermometer tool, this first issue covers the period April 2012 to March 2014. The tool is used to monitor and record the presence and absence of four harms4:
- Pressure ulcers
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with a catheter
- New venous thromboembolisms (VTEs)
From April 2012 to March 2014, 1,058 organisations have submitted results from over 4.4 million patient assessments across 10 care settings. These show that:
- There has been a reduction in the number of patients recorded with each of the four harms which make up Harm Free Care: pressure ulcers, falls, urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with a catheter, and new venous thromboembolisms (VTEs).
- The percentage of patients recorded with a pressure ulcer reduced from 7 per cent in April 2012 to 4.6 per cent in March 2014.
- The percentage of patients recorded as having a fall which resulted in harm reduced from 1.3 per cent in April 2012 to 0.8 per cent in March 2014.
- The percentage of catheterised patients recorded as having a UTI reduced from 1.6 per cent in April 2012 to 0.8 per cent in March 2014.
- The percentage of patients recorded with a new VTE reduced from 1 per cent in April 2012 to 0.5 per cent in March 2014.
HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “The NHS Safety Thermometer covers a wide range of care settings across the NHS, from residential homes to hospital wards.
“It is encouraging to see that the percentage of patients recorded as receiving Harm Free Care has increased to nearly 94 per cent in 2014.
“As the number of providers who fill out this monthly survey increases, it is hoped that this will enable the NHS to have a more detailed picture of care provisions in order for them to monitor care and
make further improvements.”
The report can be accessed at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/thermometerrep2014