The Emergency Department (ED) Collaborative was established in September 2017 supported by the Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) across the Oxford AHSN region.
The shared learning model adopted by the ED collaborative is used successfully by the PSC in other patient safety programmes to deliver improvements and disseminate learning.
Key stakeholders from the five NHS trusts in the Thames Valley region with EDs – Buckinghamshire Healthcare, Royal Berkshire, Milton Keynes University Hospital, Frimley Health and Oxford University Hospitals – meet bi-annually to share best practice and encourage spread and adoption within the region.
Each trust takes turns to host the collaborative which brings together a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals to explore the principles of maintaining patient safety in an ED environment and consider how emergency departments can work together throughout the region.
Maintaining a safe environment for patients within the emergency department is challenging in the face of increasing demand, an ageing population with increasingly complex needs and a shortage of inpatient beds. An increased reliance on locums and non-specialist staff means that it is crucial that every effort is made to reduce variation in the standard of care offered to patients.
The strength of the ED collaborative is in its ability to give clinicians, volunteers and specialist teams a safe space to come together to learn from each other and to spread best practice across the region. The collaborative approach builds relationships and leads to a greater willingness to share and learn from each other.