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Call 4 Concern service spreads to Cardiff and Vale UHB

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) has introduced Call 4 Concern to its hospitals, after Betsi Cadwaladr UHB successfully brought the service to Wales.

The Call 4 Concern service enables hospital patients and their families to call for immediate help and advice if they are worried that the health care team has not recognised or acted upon concerns regarding deteriorating health.

The service is being introduced at Cardiff and Vale UHB by the Patient at Risk Team, which provides a timely and appropriate response to patients with acute and sudden changes in condition across all adult inpatient areas at University Hospital of Wales and University Hospital Llandough sites, excluding the maternity and emergency units.

Upon receiving a Call 4 Concern, a member of the Patient at Risk Team will visit and review the patient on the ward. After assessing the situation and liaising with the medical team and other healthcare professionals as needed, the team of experienced practitioners will work alongside ward-based clinical teams to ensure the necessary intervention is implemented.

The projects to implement Call 4 Concern services at both Cardiff and Vale UHB and Betsi Cadwaladr UHB are two of more than 40 projects in the Safe Care Collaborative, which is delivered by Improvement Cymru in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).  It brings together colleagues from across NHS Wales to learn from each other and deliver improvement projects to benefit the quality and safety of care across the country. 

As part of the 18-month collaborative, participants are receiving tailored coaching and support from Improvement Cymru and IHI to run improvement projects throughout Wales.

Teams delivering improvement projects at Cardiff and Vale UHB as part of the Safe Care Collaborative are also receiving expert coaching and support from Shaping Change, the health board’s improvement and innovation team.

Fiona Davies, Nurse Practitioner in the Cardiff and Vale UHB Patient at Risk Team, said: “We’re pleased to be launching the Call 4 Concern Service in our hospitals to ensure there’s an appropriate response when patients and their families raise concerns that their health is deteriorating.

“The Safe Care Collaborative has provided so many brilliant opportunities to collaborate with teams throughout NHS Wales, share our experience and learning, feed valuable insights into our work, and receive expert guidance from Improvement Cymru and IHI on taking methodical and effective approaches to improvement.

“The collaborative has helped us to establish a meaningful relationship with the Acute Intervention Team at Betsi Cadwaladr UHB, enabling us to learn from their experience of launching the Call 4 Concern in north Wales so that we can replicate the best of their work in what we’re doing here.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Acute Intervention Team initially launched the Call 4 Concern service as an 18-month pilot, firstly for patients discharged to wards from ICU before expanding to one of the hospital’s surgical wards.

After joining the Safe Care Collaborative, the Call 4 Concern service was formally launched across Ysbyty Gwynedd’s adult inpatient services in April 2023.

Interventions through the service have had a significant impact on patient safety, which has included preventing patients requiring escalation to intensive care.

Dominique Bird, Deputy Director and Head of Quality Improvement at Improvement Cymru, said: “It’s fantastic to see Cardiff and Vale UHB’s Patient at Risk Team building on the success of colleagues in Betsi Cadwaladr UHB in launching the Call 4 Concern service, and we’re looking forward to supporting them to do so successfully.

“We’re proud of the role that the Safe Care Collaborative has played in bringing the teams together, arming the Cardiff and Vale UHB team with a wealth of learning to support the successful implementation of the service.

“Collaboration and shared learning such as this across our health systems is a key objective of the Safe Care Collaborative, and as projects delivered with its support move towards maturity, we hope to see more teams throughout NHS Wales learning from and replicating the successes for the benefit of patient care nationwide.”

For detail on the Safe Care Collaborative visit our webpages, here.

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