At a time when healthcare associated infections, increasing litigation and the enforcement of safety policy compliance are challenges for senior managers within the NHS, we’re meeting with an ever-increasing number of Trusts about our SEC3URE commercial visitor policy compliance and enforcement service.
At the end of last year we installed our fully-managed service across University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. It’s one of the UK’s largest, employs some 12,000 staff and has 50 theatres performing around 25,000 operations each year.
Needless to say, their decision was driven by the legal obligation to their patients and staff to ensure that the visits made by hundreds of commercial visitors each week fully complied with patient safety, clinical governance and duty of care standards.
As Phil Walmsley, Head of Operations at Leicester’s Hospitals, 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 of what is happening there, who is visiting, how long they will be and which areas they are allowed to access.”
The appeal of the SEC3URE service, which is provided entirely at no charge to the Trust, is far-reaching. Its ease of installation and no costly specialist IT systems and equipment required mean it is able to quickly play a role in reducing the costs of healthcare acquired infections (HAIs), which affect 300,000 patients and cost the NHS around £1billion a year.
On a local level, that’s £3.6million for a typical Trust, affecting some 8.2% of in-patients at any one time. Each spends over two and a half times longer in hospital and costs an additional £3,000 to treat and often requires further community outpatient treatment after discharge.
Add to these figures the 5000 patients who die each year because of a HAI – and the 15,000 deaths where such infections are a contributory factor – and it starts to become apparent why £26billion was set aside by the health service last year to cover medical negligence claims against NHS hospitals.
When faced with such startling patient numbers and associated costs, it’s easy to see why University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust – along with an increasing number of others – are installing SEC3URE as a straightforward and affordable way to help overcome challenges relating to patient safety and HAIs.