[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 11, June 2012].
The NHS Safety Thermometer, is a tool developed by the QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) Safe Care Team, at the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The NHS Safety Thermometer provides nurses with a template to check basic levels of care, identify where things go wrong and take remedial action. This tool is for frontline healthcare workers to monitor the proportion of patients in their care with pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, venous thromboembolisms and falls.
A pilot across 160 NHS organisations last year indicated a reduction in blood clots by 72%, pressure ulcers by 42% and urinary infections in patients with catheters by 33%.
NHS organisations are encouraged to use the NHS Safety Thermometer during 2012/13 by a CQUIN incentive payment which rewards the collection of data about the safety of the care they provide regarding four high-volume patient safety issues:
- Pressure ulcers.
- Falls in care.
- Urinary infections (in patients with a catheter).
- Treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE).
The Department of Health has published this guide to support the NHS in implementing the NHS Safety Thermometer.
Delivering the NHS safety thermometer CQUIN 2012/13: A preliminary guide to measuring “harm free” care. London: Department of Health (QIPP Safe Care Team / Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust), May 25th 2012. Gateway reference: 17612. 36p.
Note: A further guide will be produced to help organisations ensure the NHS Safety Thermometer is embedded in their patient safety culture. This will offer guidance for commissioners on using local data to set improvement goals for the second year of the CQUIN.