April 6, 2018 11.29 am This story is over 70 months old

Over a quarter of Lincolnshire hospital staff witnessed errors that could have hurt patients

Staff said they had witnessed a catalogue of dangerous errors or near misses.

More than one in four people working in Lincolnshire’s hospitals who responded to an NHS staff survey said that they had seen errors or near misses that could have hurt patients.

A total of 28% of respondents to the National NHS Staff Survey from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), which has hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole, said that they had seen such incidents in the last month.

The figures were only marginally better at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which covers the hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, with 26% of staff surveyed saying they had witnessed potentially dangerous errors or near misses.

Just under one in five (19%) at both trusts said that they had seen errors, near misses or incidents that could have put staff in harm’s way.

More reassuringly, over 90% of such incidents were reported, either by the staff member who filled in the survey or by a colleague.

Both NLaG and ULHT admitted that they were disappointed by the findings and were working to bring in improvements to learn from such errors.

Jayne Adamson, Director of People and Organisational Effectiveness at NLaG, said: “The National Staff Survey results give us a useful indication of how staff feel about working for the trust and a focus for how we can improve their experience at work.

“More than 2,000 staff responded to the survey, which is about a third of our workforce.

“While the results are disappointing, we have recently introduced new initiatives to help us change the culture of the organisation for the better; including empowering our staff to speak up about their concerns, giving them opportunities to bring their quality improvement ideas to life and increased opportunities for learning and development.

“We hope to see the outcome of these improvements reflected in next year’s survey results.”

Dr Neill Hepburn, Medical Director at ULHT, added: “Any incidents of this nature are always extremely regrettable and our top priority is always to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care possible.

“We actively encourage an open culture of reporting, so we can look to continually learn from any incidents that may occur to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our patients safe.

“One of our core values is ‘safety’, which is underlined to all our staff as part of our newly launched staff charter. We also have a dedicated ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’ who staff can contact anonymously should they have any concerns.”