Giving patients a voice in Patient Safety Huddles

The Yorkshire Safety Huddles project supports front-line ward teams to improve teamwork and communication by meeting daily to identify in-patients most at risk from harm, and agree measures to minimise these risks.  Huddles have some important key principles: they involve all staff in a non-hierarchical & non-judgemental manner, they use available data (e.g. falls; pressure ulcers) to track progress and they celebrate successes.  The Health Foundation is supporting ward staff across 3 hospital Trusts to embed huddles, and a team from Bradford University is evaluating the project for impacts on safety and culture.

We have run 3 focus groups (see here) with members of the public and asked how huddles can be designed to best work for patients. The response was:

"It is great that staff are improving their own communication channels, but can huddles improve communication WITH patients?"

In response, we are trialling different ways that staff can do this that include:

We are developing some resources to help each of these approaches and the first is a flyer that can be used by volunteers or staff to collect patient concerns for a huddle (available here).