Jeremy Hunt visits staff at GOSH to talk patient safety

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, visited Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on Thursday 29 March to talk to staff on the topic of patient safety, outlining his ambition to ensure the NHS is the safest healthcare system in the world. 

Mr Hunt was welcomed by seven-year-old patient Shiloh, who has Cystic Fibrosis and has been treated at GOSH since she was 18 months old. She presented him with a Bernard Bear teddy bear, the hospital's mascot. Play specialists at GOSH often use teddy bears and toys to help patients understand and prepare them for their treatment.

Mr Hunt spoke to staff from across the organisation, including consultants, nurses and Healthcare Assistants, and acknowledged the huge amount of hard work that takes place across the Trust every day striving for the highest standards of safety.

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‎"It was a pleasure to meet staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who are all so passionate about making their services as safe as possible for the children they treat. The Trust's commitment to harnessing new technology like the igloo, where staff can practice delicate clinical work in a safe simulated environment, is fantastic and a model for the whole NHS."

He was accompanied by Professor Russell Viner, the newly elected President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who praised GOSH for shining a beacon on what can be done to invest in paediatric heath.

The visit was an opportunity for Mr Hunt to hear directly about how the hospital is continuing to improve patient safety by fostering a culture of transparency and a focus on quality. We showcased some of our current patient safety improvement programmes, including a simulation igloo – a classroom imitating a cubicle environment enabling a team to connect themselves emotionally to the stress, confusion and task overload surrounding a deteriorating child – and our electronic Patient Status at a Glance (ePSAG) boards, an electronic version of the old patient white board, linked real-time to the observation system enabling clinicians to deliver harm free care for every child, every time.

The visit came as part of a series of visits the Secretary of State is making to NHS Trusts across the country.