Sign up to safety

We’re proud to be part of  ‘Sign up to Safety’ – a national campaign in England that aims to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world by reducing avoidable harm by 50% over the next three years.


The campaign requires us to make pledges under five key headings – setting out the actions we intend to take against each one:

  1. Put safety first
  2. Continually learn
  3. Honesty
  4. Collaboration
  5. Support

1. Put safety first – commit to reduce avoidable harm by half and make public our goals and plans developed locally

Pressure ulcers

Reduce the incident of pressure ulcers by working collaboratively with other care providers across the health economy.

Use the newly developed pressure ulcer prevention weekly score care to drive improvements and further reduce hospital-acquired, avoidable pressure ulcers.

Deteriorating patient

Introduce electronic technology to support early recognition of deteriorating patients, treatment of sepsis and acute kidney injury, along with an education programme to ensure these patients receive appropriate and consistent treatment including all six elements of the sepsis care bundle.

Safe staffing

Display our nurse staffing levels on every ward and also publish them on our website. Click here for our latest figures.

2. Continually learn – make our organisation more resilient to risks by acting on the feedback from patients and by consistently measuring and monitoring how safe our services are

Responding to patient feedback

Develop a programme of complaints handling training for staff to improve the quality, timeliness and learning from complaints in collaboration with the Patients Association.

Further develop our ‘real time patient experience’ programme by exploring different methods and technologies to gain feedback from our patients while they are in our care.

Accreditation system for quality of care

Introduce a method of assessment that will provide evidence of consistently high standards of care across all areas of the service. This is known as the South Tees Accreditation for Quality of Care.

3. Honesty – be transparent with people about our progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong

Improvements in patient safety

We wil take forward improvements in patient safety through a number of service improvement methods – a programme of planned process reviews, local service improvement and collaborative models – and publish the progress of these as part of the ‘Open and Honest’ publication.

Being open (duty of candour)

We will fully implement the new ‘Duty of Candour’ and review practice to ensure the trust’s systems and processes support a culture of openness and transparency along with a programme of education for all frontline staff.

4. Collaborate – taking a leading role in supporting local collaborative learning so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use

Regional patient safety collaborative

The trust will actively participate in the establishment of the regional patient safety collaborative to deliver a culture of mutual learning and improvement. We will participate in regional and national patient safety projects to review and improve the care we provide for patients working with our partner organisations.

Key partner organisations include:

  • North East Quality Observatory System (NEQOS)
  • Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) patient safety collaborative
  • Specialist networks
  • Local clinical commissioning groupos (CCGs)
  • NHS Quest

Developing new service pathways to transform community services

We are committed to working across healthcare in partnership with our commissioners and patients to transform community services to better meet the needs of local people and provide care closer to home.

5. Support – help people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate the progress

Learning from error

We will incorporate ‘human factors’ education and awareness into our root cause analysis training – linking learning from when things go wrong into our service improvement programmes and education programmes through simulation.

Leadership development

We will deliver a suite of leadership programmes to support the development of staff at every level in the trust. This includes providing regular opportunities for nursing staff to come together together to discuss quality and safety issues and work together in finding solutions to improve patient care.

We will celebrate innovation and excellence through our trust Star Awards, annual nightingale and patient safety conferences, which will provide staff with an opportunity to share and celebrate their success.