Trust top of the league on two key measures

A team of staff pictured outside Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's specialist emergency care hospital near Cramlington.
A team of staff pictured outside Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's specialist emergency care hospital near Cramlington.
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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named as the most open and transparent organisation in the health service in England.

When benchmarked against 230 NHS trusts, it was ranked as the very best for these measures.

In response to the announcement at the first ever ministerial-level Global Patient Safety Summit in London, leading staff praised the trust’s 9,500 workforce across its multiple hospital and community sites.

The new annual Learning from Mistakes League, which has been launched by Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, forms part of national plans to improve patient safety and transparency across the NHS.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m immensely proud that Northumbria has been recognised for the high levels of honesty, openness and trust that we’ve embedded as part of our culture, which mean staff feel confident and able to raise concerns they may have about patient safety or care.

“We’ve worked very hard to create this positive culture, which is founded on strong clinical leadership, mutual respect and our staff being open and accountable at all levels across the organisation.

“Our focus is always, quite simply, on what’s best for our patients and this allows us to openly discuss any quality issues or challenges and how we can collectively solve them.”

Based on data from the 2015 NHS staff survey, Northumbria was rated as the most outstanding NHS organisation for staff confidence and security in reporting unsafe clinical practice, fairness and effectiveness of procedures for reporting errors, near misses and incidents and the percentage of staff able to contribute towards improvements at work.

The trust’s chief executive, David Evans, said: “For more than ten years, we’ve placed a very strong focus on developing a good leadership culture and creating an environment where every single member of staff, regardless of their role, feels empowered to take responsibility and accountability for the delivery of safe, high quality care for patients.

“This starts with making sure we understand why things go wrong so that we can truly learn from incidents, make appropriate changes and, crucially, be open and honest with patients, families and our teams throughout our learning.”

Northumbria Healthcare is one of only three health service organisations in England that is helping to spearhead the development of positive cultures and leadership capability across the country.

It was recently given a £1.15million NHS funding boost to support this work, which involves sharing its clinical knowledge and expertise, spreading innovation and best practice, as well as providing corporate services to other NHS organisations such as payroll and lease car solutions.

It will also have the ability to acquire and/or merge other hospital trusts.

The organisation is also leading work with health and social care partners in Northumberland to pioneer new models of care and deliver an integrated primary and acute care system as a national ‘vanguard’ site.