New blog post from Lauren Barker and Rob Bethune

When did it all go so right? Learning from Excellence comes to the South West
 This month we were delighted to welcome Dr Adrian Plunkett from Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to discuss a new approach to reporting safety incidents being pioneered in Birmingham.
Speaking to a packed audience at our Best Practice Conference, Adrian shared his personal story in developing a new incident reporting tool called Learning from Excellence which is beginning to spread across the West Midlands and beyond. Safety in health care has traditionally focused on what goes wrong, however LfE is based on Safety 2.0 thinking that looks at what is working well in the system and seeks to learn from it. A number of clinical teams in the South West are currently exploring how to apply the approach including Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Lauren Barker and Rob Bethune talk about their experiences deploying the Learning from Excellence methodology (www.learningfromexcellence.com) at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Lauren explains: “The philosophy of Learning from Excellence which is pioneered by Dr Adrian Plunkett, looks at how safety in healthcare has traditionally focused on avoiding harm by learning from error and how this approach may miss opportunities to learn from excellent practice. The method believes that studying excellence in healthcare can create new opportunities for learning and improving resilience and staff morale and the team have been capturing and studying peer – reported excellence in healthcare for over 2 years. Rob spoke to Adrian a few years ago when he was just starting the website up. We have been deploying the methodology at a low level since June 2016. We encourage positive feedback from colleagues using a paper form and once we have received positive feedback, we scan it in and email the colleague telling them they have been nominated within the Learning from Excellence programme.” Rob says: “We’ve had some really powerful stories thus far. One anaesthetist fed back after an incident that really impressed him. He was looking after a very sick patient in theatre and needed blood. This was a very time critical situation and very complex and the process can sometimes take some time. The anaesthetist placed the order and the blood arrived very quickly from the bloodbank, which enabled him to help care for his patient in a timely way. He then filled in a feedback form to thank the person on duty at the bloodbank for dealing with the request so efficiently. The colleague at the bloodbank was overwhelmed and said that they only ever heard about when things went wrong. It also, importantly, highlighted a step in the process that could be eliminated, and this has been rolled out ever since.”
Lauren continues: “Another area which has been highlighted via this project is something that a colleague was doing really well in the operating theatre. This colleague was, as a matter of good practice, putting the ‘Bair hugger’ on the gel mat in order to help warm up patients when they were being moved around on trolleys. The colleague was routinely doing this, and when it was flagged up as a positive piece of work, we were able to introduce this process to the department at no cost whatsoever, but with a tangible benefit to patients.”
Rob concludes: “This is a really exciting and positive project and it’s really easy to get involved and replicate wherever you are.” To find more about the project at the Royal Devon and Exeter then contact lauren.barker@nhs.net or  rob.bethune@nhs.net . If you would like to find out more about regional plans to further growing interest in Learning from Excellence approaches then please contact William.lilley@swahsn.com

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