University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have unveiled a new service to improve patient safety and reduce costs by better managing the flow of commercial visitors (CVs) in and out of the facility.

The SEC3URE service from IntelliCentrics UK has been installed at Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield and Leicester General Hospital and is now playing a key role in creating a safer and more secure environment for patients, staff and visitors.

The installation comes as Lord Carter of Coles recently published his full report into Operational Productivity in NHS Providers with the interim report having already recommended with ‘greater us of sales representative tracking system’.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is one of the largest in the country. It employs almost 12,000 staff with 50 theatres performing c.25,000 operations a year and receives hundreds of commercial visitors on site.

Phil Walmsley, Head of Operations at Leicester’s Hospitals, explains: “Commercial visitors are part of the life of this hospital and an important source of information, training and specialist support for clinicians. However, we have a legal obligation to them, patients and staff to make sure their visits fully comply with patient safety, clinical governance and duty of care standards.”

The SEC3URE service allowed Leicester’s Hospitals to tailor its requirements for CV access to each area of the Trust, in line with best practice patient safety policies and procedures.

Phil Walmsley said: “There had been real anxiety about commercial visitors just drifting into restricted areas like theatres and whether they knew what was meant by safe practice. We are now more confident over what is happening in theatres, who is visiting, how long they will be and which areas they are allowed to access.”

A comprehensive suite of reports provides a full audit history of all CV activity on site. He continued: “The reporting features of the service are starting to show the pressure areas and who does and does not want to play. It is a red flag to those companies who don’t share the best practice standards required of our suppliers.”

SEC3URE also provides procurement teams with powerful tools to implement procedures and prevent avoidance of central buying policies.
These include the ability to track and approve sales meetings between CVs and clinicians. There is no charge to the healthcare facility for the service, training or ongoing support or for the majority of CVs. It is only those CVs who require access to more restricted areas – where there are more complex compliance issues to manage – that will be expected to pay for having their compliance status managed. Most supplier companies are already registered on the SEC3URE service.

Ease of install is a key benefit. Phil Walmsley said: “It has been the easiest IT implementation I have ever experienced. IntelliCentrics has supported us from the start, liaising with all the relevant staff, completing the training and taking it live on time with minimum disruption.”

Azadar Shah, Managing Director of IntelliCentrics UK, said that the service, which is already commonplace in the US, has an important role to play in helping the NHS deliver the safest healthcare system in the world.

“We are keenly aware that healthcare associated infections, increasing litigation, the side-stepping of procurement and enforcing safety policy compliance are ongoing challenges for senior managers in the NHS. SEC3URE is a fully-managed, easy to use service designed to help.”