Northern Trust committed to quality in all we do

The Northern Trust launched their 2015/2016 Quality Report on World Quality Day (10 November), a day designed to increase worldwide awareness of the important contribution that quality makes to organisational success. This report looks at five goals for the organisation and describes the achievements and challenges the Northern Trust faced.

Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust said, “The Annual Quality Report demonstrates our commitment to delivering safe, high quality care, our focus on the well-being of the people we serve, and those who work for us. We aim to bring quality considerations into every aspect of our work.

“Over the last year, as highlighted in the report, we looked at the goals of transforming the culture, strengthening the workforce, measuring improvement, raising the standards and integrating the care. We have made real progress against key objectives, as set out in last year’s Quality Report.”

Some of the great work highlighted in the 2015/2016 Quality Report includes the Trust’s adherence to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist. This has been introduced into all hospital theatre departments in the Northern Trust to make sure each surgical team takes the right steps before, during and after surgery. Patient safety is assured via use of the checklist and the accuracy of surgical procedures is checked through monthly audits.

Medicine management is another crucial area of patient care. As the population gets older and more frail, patients often present to adult hospital wards with more than one problem. They may also be on multiple prescriptions. Since the start of 2016, patient medication records are monitored daily on acute adult wards to check they are on correct prescription and won’t suffer side-effects produced by unwanted drug interaction.

A focus of the Trust is to maintain service users in their home environment, when possible, thus reducing demands on the acute sector. Telehealth is a convenient way for health professionals to take readings using remote monitoring, which avoids the patient having to travel to a clinic or hospital. The service is largely aimed at patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive airways disease, renal impairment and stroke. In the past year it has developed to include areas such as nutritional support by dieticians; learning disability and working closely with private nursing homes to pilot the service. Telecare provides an effective means of managing risk, helping to support a person to live independently in their own home. The Telecare target for 2015/2016 was set at 232,557 monitored patient days. The Trust achieved 282,657, overachieving by 21%, with 602 clients benefiting from the service.

Dr Stevens concluded: “We have put a number of measures in place in the last year to enhance the care we provide making sure all our service users get the highest quality service. I would like to commend all our staff for their continued commitment and hard work.”

The 2015/2016 Quality Report is available on the Northern Trust website www.northerntrust.hscni.net.

Page last updated:14 December 2016