As a patient transitions between different care providers and settings, it is critical that there are systems in place to ensure all necessary information is transferred with them. Medical and surgical doctors, GPs, acute and community nurses, carers, radiologists and physiotherapists are but a few examples of the different professionals a patient may meet.
The Safer Handover programme aims to investigate how information used by clinicians involved in providing patient care is communicated across the system, with an initial focus on interactions between primary and secondary care. This programme is led by health and care professionals following an agreed guiding principle, written from the patient perspective:
“All information relevant to my care must be reliably communicated to me and those supporting me in a clear, accurate and unambiguous manner. It must be readily available and ensure that responsibility for actions are clearly set out.”
Four clear priorities have been identified for development:
These projects have been addressing issues identified at the interface between primary and secondary care, and are designed to improve the quality of interaction between clinicians. Projects are led by clinicians and subject matter experts, with delivery underpinned with a robust approach to facilitating improvement.