Our colleagues have curated an innovative system which ensures the robust distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all clinical and non-clinical staff across its county-wide Trust; protecting staff, patients and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The model which James Mullins (Assistant Director of Clinical Quality at NHFT) and Alex Quinn (Contract Manager at NHFT) developed to successfully manage the allocation, distribution and maintenance of PPE across NHFT is being used as a benchmark for other NHS trusts across the country to share best practice, and key learnings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential in healthcare to prevent the spread of Covid -19 and other infections. It is just one of the measures NHFT use, these include effective handwashing.
NHFT covers a 150 mile radius with staff working across more than 40 sites in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire. It is vital that a robust process is put in place to maintain PPE in all service areas and enable healthcare professionals to continue to provide outstanding and compassionate care. So far, the system has successfully distributed more than 2.5 million pieces of PPE across four counties.
Using quality improvement methodology, the team collectively explored the best way to create a system that ensured safety and efficiency for front line teams. The system enables colleagues to monitor stock levels and allocate and distribute PPE across the Trust. Based on the ‘push model’ implemented by Government, it holds robust data that can quickly pull reports to efficiently manage PPE distribution and if required, recall of products. Colleagues are able to input an inventory to ensure the accuracy of the system.
Talking about implementing the new system, Alex said: “At NHFT, safety is one of our core principles, and it is vital that we implemented a system which would enable us to effectively manage and maintain PPE across the Trust.
“The ‘push model’ enables our clinical colleagues to continue to provide outstanding care, while we work with our operational staff to distribute and monitor PPE, keeping our staff and patients safe.
“James and I have carried out observational audits to review PPE in sites, and listen to staff feedback. We continually review the system to ensure that it evolves to meet the needs of the Trust, and we are working with neighbouring Trusts to share best practice."
Part of James’ role is to provide assurance on PPE process, safety and logistics to the Chief Nurse and members of the Executive team.
James has overseen PPE since the new system was implemented in March, he added: “The system which Alex has created is easy to navigate and provides staff with accurate and up to date information, allowing them to quickly access data or make a request.
“Our clinical staff are delivering outstanding care during a challenging time, and it was important that we ensure that they had the right PPE to keep them and our patients safe. We are working with partners regionally and nationally to continually manage our PPE in line with any changes, and the system enables us to quickly and efficiently distribute PPE across the county.”
James and Alex have received outstanding support from colleagues across the Trust, and our partners at LGSS, to enable the successful delivery of this new system. Thank you to everyone involved for keeping everyone safe.
Julie Shepherd, Chief Nurse at NHFT, said: “Our PPE service has been and continues to play a vital role in keeping both our staff and our patients safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. This model has been developed and delivered by a group of staff who have come from many areas of the Trust using their skills and knowledge to deliver an important service. Everyone in the team has a role to play from those working in the services to the trust drivers who delivery the PPE out to our services and PPE champions in our services.”