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Patient safety team represent the trust at award ceremony

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has been named Best Organisation at the 2016 Patient Safety Awards.

The trust was announced as the winner during a ceremony in Manchester earlier this month.

It had been shortlisted with other top organisations from across the country in the awards run by the Health Service Journal and the Nursing Times.

Judges said naming Frimley Health as Best Organisation was a “unanimous decision” and praised its “courageous approach” to improving safety.

The trust impressed the panel with improvements it has made at the once-struggling Wexham Park Hospital since taking it over in 2014.

The hospital has now been rated 'good' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and praised for its strong patient safety culture.

The watchdog described the turnaround as “undoubtedly the most impressive example of improvement” it had seen under the current inspection regime.

Judges were told Frimley Health puts patient experience and safety at its core. They were heard that: 

  • In a 2015 survey 83% of staff respondents felt patient care was the trust’s top priority
  • Avoidable harm rates have been significantly reduced in the last eight years
  • A Sign up to Safety campaign has been a success with more than 500 staff making personal pledges to improve safety
  • Patient experience feedback is reviewed at both ward and board level to ensure areas for improvement are identified and acted upon
  • A new process for handling complaints has been adopted, with formal complaints at Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals falling by 62% over the last year.
  • The trust promotes an open and honest culture so staff feel able to make suggestions for improvements.

The award judges said they had seen “good examples of learning from others and powerful stories” and the trust was “not afraid to face challenges head on”.

And they added that it was “nice to see staff safety designed with improving patient safety” and said it was “impossible to make patients feel safe unless staff feel safe, cared for and listened to”.

Tracey Coulson, head of patient safety at Frimley Health, said: “We are delighted to be named Best Organisation in the Patient Safety Awards 2016.

“Patient safety is at the core of everything we do. It is a real team effort and this award reflects the continuing hard work of all our staff across the trust and our ambition to improve patient safety at every opportunity.”