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Patient Safety

The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is committed to excellence and to the provision of high quality healthcare.

The L&D’s commitment to patient safety at a national level was reinforced when our previous Chief Executive was appointed as NHS Patient Safety Campaign Director. The L&D continues to build on this success.

Staff in the hospital are working to protect you from harm during your healthcare experience. We want to ensure that our systems keep you safe, particularly as medical practice is becoming ever more complex.

Working together with doctors, nurses and other hospital staff you can help us to keep you safe while you are in our care. Patients and their carers who are thoroughly involved in their care tend to do better and stay safer.

What visitors can do to make sure patients are safer
There are several steps that visitors can take in order to help ensure that patients remain safe during their stay in hospital – and when they return home.

  • Please get involved in understanding the patient’s care if they wish it, this will help with their care when leaving hospital.
  • Please inform the staff of any problems that the patient has not communicated.
  • Please wash your hands before entering the ward or helping to feed a patient.
  • Please do not visit if you have a cold, cough or other infectious disease. Make sure that there are no more than two visitors at a time by a patient’s bed. Do not sit on the bed.
  • Do not allow children to run around the ward uncontrolled.

What we are doing at the L&D to improve your safety if you are a patient
We are working to implement electronic recording and display of patient vital signs observations. This is one intervention which helps us enhance care of any patient at risk of deterioration.

We are working to reduce the incidence of four harms that can occur in hospital. These are pressure ulcers, falls that result in harm, urinary tract infection in patients with a urinary catheter and venous thromboembolism (VTE blood clots).

We are working to improve the management of sepsis through the implementation of ways of delivering care that improve the outcome for patients:

  1. The Leadership Team (including the Chief Executive), who do a weekly round of the hospital to meet, listen and talk to staff and patients to identify ways of improving safety in patients’ care.
  2. The Ward Team who are looking to improve safety and efficiency by ensuring appropriate observation of patients. To assist us to do this and to help us look after you if you become very unwell on the general ward we have introduced an ‘Outreach team’ who are specially skilled at looking after very sick patients. Senior nurses, as a priority will improve the monitoring of cleanliness in the wards and are taking extra precautions to make sure that staff are highly trained to prevent the spread of infections.
  3. The Intensive Care Team who are working to reduce the risk of infection and other complications at this vulnerable stage of treatment.
  4. The Operating Theatre Team who are aiming to reduce still further any avoidable surgical complications such as wound infection or a blood clot in a leg vein (a DVT).
  5. The Pharmacy Team who are working to ensure that patients always get the correct medicines and understand how and when to take them.

What we ask you to do to help yourself stay safer
We have a number of ways that you can help us by working with us:

  1. Involvement
  2. The identity band
  3. Safety and your medicines
  4. Prevention of infection
  5. Prevention of fall

If you are a little unsteady ask for help when getting out of bed, particularly at night; check that your call bell is in easy reach to call staff who will be happy to help. Bring in slippers that are well fitting and have rubber soles to avoid slipping.