Busy First Year of Initiatives in 1,000 Lives Campaign; the 1,000 Lives Campaign Was Launched a Year Ago in Wales in a Bid to Improve Patient Safety across the NHS. It Aims to Have Saved 1,000 Patients' Lives and Prevented 50,000 Incidences of Harm by April 2010 and Put Patient Safety at the Forefront of the NHS. Health Editor Madeleine Brindley Reports on the Latest Initiatives to Prevent Unnecessary Patient Deaths, Accidents and Injuries

Article excerpt

Byline: Madeleine Brindley

Heart failure patients

PATIENTS suffering from chronic heart failure have the chance of a better quality of life after local health boards developed improved services.

The work is a key part of the 1,000 Lives campaign and is part of a commitment for LHBs to work more closely with GPs in a bid to reduce the number of unnecessary admissions to hospital for patients with chronic heart failure.

The promotion of evidencebased procedures such as timely and accurate diagnosis, medication therapy and lifestyle advice could make a significant impact on the disease process.

More than 80 GP practices across Wales have already signed up to providing these enhanced services.

Carey Gardener, the Gwent LHBs and 1,000 Lives campaign lead for chronic heart failure, said: "Many people who are diagnosed with chronic heart failure require repeated hospital admissions and have a poor quality of life.

"By working more closely with our GP practices, we can provide improved care and support to people closer to home.

"By following clinical guidelines we can improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic heart failure." The work is part of the improving general medical and surgical care area of the 1,000 Lives campaign.

The project provides more support for patients locally, including encouraging patients to self-manage their conditions, and advising them about diet and exercise.

It also looks at prescribing medicines that best manage chronic heart failure..

Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence states that all patients with heart failure caused by problems with the left side of their heart, should be considered for treatment with a drug called an ACE inhibitor and, for those whose condition has been stabilised, betablocker therapy.

By optimising the use of these drugs and regularly reviewing the patient, the scheme aims to improve their symptoms, including patients' energy levels, and reduce the likelihood of them being admitted to hospital.

Such an approach can also lead to a reduction in the number of deaths.

Ms Gardner, who is based at Caerphilly LHB, added: "Most GP practices were already giving excellent care to patients with chronic heart failure, but the campaign work has enabled them to do even more.

"The level of engagement from LHBs and GPs across Wales has been fantastic and it is really exciting to see primary care making a big impact on a patient safety campaign of this nature.

"There is a lot of work going on to improve the life and condition of chronic heart failure patients, including heart failure specialist nurses, who work with trusts, LHBs and GP practices," she added.

GP practices will now carry out an audit of patients who have been prescribed an optimal dose of ACE inhibitor and review the effect this has had on their condition.

Work is also ongoing to ensure that all chronic heart failure patients have received flu and pneumococcal pneumonia injections, which will again reduce the risk of them being admitted to hospital..

Surgical checklist for Hywel Dda NHS Trust

HYWEL DDA NHS Trust will become one of the first parts of the NHS in Wales to introduce a new international scheme to improve safety for patients undergoing surgery.

The trust, which runs NHS services across West Wales, has signed up to be an early implementation site for the World Health Organisation's surgical safety checklist.

All the surgical, anaesthetic and theatre departments in the trust's four acute hospitals - Bronglais in Aberystwyth; Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli; West Wales General in Carmarthen and Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest - will comply with the checklist in all theatres, including day surgery, by the end of the month.

The work is a key part of reducing surgical complications in the 1,000 Lives campaign. …