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Health and safety

Health, Safety and Risk – What is it?

Our Trust places a high value on your health and safety – the safety of our patients, visitors and staff underpins our daily work.

Hospitals can be intimidating places, especially if you are not feeling well or are in pain. Being unwell, confused, distressed or in pain can increase your risks of falling or of getting an infection, and we all need to work together to reduce the risk of these things occurring.

Hospitals are also busy places with lots of things happening. We move patients and medical equipment and supplies around the hospital so there is lots of activity. We use a lot of different and speciality equipment, which all needs to be used correctly and disposed of properly to keep staff and patients safe, and reduce the risk of injury.

Having a clean environment is also a priority and you will see frequent cleaning of floors and equipment throughout the hospital.

All of these activities mean there is a potential for accidents to happen.  Knowing this means we put processes in place to highlight any danger and minimise risks.

Our Health and Safety department ensure that all the risks to patients and staff are assessed and measures put in place to reduce the likelihood of harm. We have specialist groups to monitor and reduce falls in hospital, infection prevention and rates, sharps injuries, patient pressure ulcer damage, security issues to name just a few. We have experts in all areas of safety to advise and work alongside staff and help them minimise risks to themselves as well as to patients and visitors. We also provide training to all staff on all aspects of health and safety so they are kept fully updated and informed.

It is essential we protect our patients. We are here to make you better and to prevent any further harm or illness. It is also essential we protect our staff because they need to be focused on caring for patients.

We are good at what we do and keep risks and accidents to a minimum. For example, we have one accident for every 17,750 medical sharp, such as a needle, used, which is a low rate. However, we are working hard to reduce this further. As a learning organisation, when things sometimes go wrong we investigate the incident, identify the causes and take action to prevent it happening again. We also monitor our accidents and incidents to identify trends and we compare ourselves to similar hospitals around the country.

We rely on patients and visitors to work with us to help keep everyone safe. Signs and notices throughout the hospital buildings are there to direct and guide you. Please follow them and ask staff if you are not sure.

Examples of keeping yourself and others safe are wearing appropriate footwear in the hospital environment, using designated pathways and corridors when moving about, handwashing before and after visits or when moving to different areas, and using the alcohol gel frequently to reduce the risk of infection. If you see a problem during your time with us, such as a spillage on the floor, or damage to a piece of equipment, please help us by reporting it to a member of staff.

The key to health and safety is not to stop people doing what they want to do, but to enable them to do what they need to do safely.