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Safety Thermometer

Harm Free Care Logo

On one day each month we check to see how many of our patients suffered harm whilst in our care. We call this the safety thermometer. The safety thermometer looks at four harms, in particular: pressure ulcers, falls, blood clots and urine infections for those patients who have a urinary catheter in place. This helps us to understand where we need to make improvements. The score below shows the percentage of patients who did not experience any new harms.

96% of patients in August 2017 did not experience any of the four harms in this Trust.

For more information about Safety Thermometer click here: www.safetythermometer.nhs.uk 

Health care associated infections (HCAIs)

HCAIs are infections acquired as a result of healthcare interventions. Infections caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) and Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have previously been considered to be the most common, however great results have been achieved in reducing the levels of MRSA and C. difficile over the last five years. C.difficile is a bacteria that lives naturally, causing no harm in the guts of many people. However infection can occur when some antibiotics remove the 'good bacteria' in the gut that protect against C.difficile infection affecting the digestive system, causing diarrhoea, fever and painful abdominal cramps - and sometimes more serious complications. Therefore people on these antibiotics are at greater risk. 

MRSA is a bacteria often carried on the skin and inside the nose and throat causing no harm to healthy people.  However if it gets into a break in the skin, the lungs or the bladder it can cause serious infection including blood poisoning. Selecting the right antibiotics to treat an MRSA infection is very important as there are several which are not affective against MRSA.

We have a zero tolerance policy to avoidable infection and are working towards reducing C.difficile and blood stream infections caused by MRSA further.; part of this process is to set improvement targets. If the number of actual cases is greater than the target then we have not improved enough. The table below shows the number of infections we have had this month, plus the improvement target and results for the year to date (YTD):




This month: March



Improvement target (year to date)



Actual to date



Pressure Ulcers

All patients admitted to our organization have a full skin inspection to ensure measures are put in place to prevent skin damage.

Pressure ulcers are localised injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue as a result of pressure. They are sometimes known as bedsores. They can be classified into four grades, with 1 being the least severe and 4 being the most severe. We record pressure ulcer developing after 24hours as hospital acquired.

In July 2017 the following pressure ulcers were acquired during hospital stays:

July 2017


Grade 2


Grade 3


Grade 4



This measure includes all falls in the hospital that resulted in injury, categorised as moderate, severe or death, regardless of cause.

Whilst all falls that occur in the hospital setting are reported, any fall resulting in significant harm to a patient – for example a break to a limb, are subject to a full investigation. Following a full review a decision would be made as to whether the fall was unavoidable or avoidable. A number of learning points can arise from these investigations and lessons learned are shared trust wide.

The aim is to eradicate all avoidable falls in the hospital setting and reduce the total number of falls occurring.  

July 2017


Number of falls

Minor Injury


Moderate Injury


Major Injury


#PROUD to care for you