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National Patient Safety Agency

NPSA congratulates Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust on Patient Safety Award win

Tuesday 02 December 2008

NPSA Chief Executive, Martin Fletcher, last night (01 December) congratulated Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust for winning the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Award at the annual HSJ Awards dinner held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.


Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust designed and implemented a Safety Net System to ensure that all chest x-rays, which had been identified by radiologists to demonstrate suspected signs of cancer, were appropriately reviewed and acted upon quickly.  The system was established following an incident involving a patient at Salford Royal in 2003 whose diagnosis of lung cancer was delayed.


The Safety Net System, which was developed after Salford Royal followed the NPSA’s Root Cause Analysis approach to incident investigation, is a process designed to ensure rapid follow-up on chest x-rays.  It has a clear set of procedures for radiologists, clinicians, nurses and GPs to follow once an x-ray had been carried out.  During the first 12 months of the Safety Net System it was found that it had prevented 21 potential delayed or missed diagnosis of lung cancer.


Congratulating Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust on their win, Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive at the NPSA said: “Despite a number of very strong entries, Salford Royal was a clear winner.  It was clearly evident that the Trust were determined to learn from this incident and worked closely with their staff and the patient’s family.  They have also expanded the system to cover all radiology tests performed at the Trust.  The benefits have also been sustained as there have been no reported incidents of missed radiological reports suspecting cancer since the implementation of the system.


“I’d like to congratulate Salford Royal on this innovative, yet simple initiative which has really made a difference to the safety of their patients.  I hope other trusts will follow their example and implement similar systems locally.”




Notes for editors:


  • NPSA Chief Executive, Martin Fletcher awarded the prize.

  • Suzette Woodward, Director of Patient Safety Strategy, was on the judging panel for the HSJ Patient Safety Award, representing both the NPSA and the Healthcare Commission.  Highly commended winners for the Patient Safety Award were NHS Forth Valley/NHS Tayside and NHS National Workforce Projects/National Hospital at Night.

  • The National Patient Safety Agency is a Special Health Authority of the NHS. It encompasses three divisions; the National Research Ethics Service, the National Reporting and Learning Service and the National Clinical Assessment Service. Each has its own sphere of expertise to improve patient outcomes. The NPSA’s vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. For more information visit: www.npsa.nhs.uk.