The Trouble with Handovers

The Training DVD “The Trouble with Handovers” has been made to highlight the vital importance of clinical handovers to patients’ safety.  Commissioned by the Ambulance Trust in 2010, it is used by the Patient Safety Federation and NHS for awareness and training.

We follow the story of David, an elderly man with dementia, after he develops pneumonia and a crush fracture in his thoracic spine.  David and his partially sighted wife have been coping OK at home with support of their daughter.  But an admission to hospital goes badly wrong due to important information being lost at various handovers between staff.

The Patient Safety Federation (PSF) is made up of, run by and funded by the healthcare organisations of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  It’s members collaborate to address those wider patient safety issues of particular relevance to them, bringing to bear on these a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach.

The No Needless Ignorance (NNI) workstream is one of ten work streams under the PSF and consists of clinicians from different backgrounds with a common vision who have come together to create this innovative piece that can be used right across the NHS to illustrate how handovers between services can go wrong.  Giving clinicians the opportunity to reflect on individual day to day practice and therefore improve handovers and communication to ultimately affect patient safety.

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