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Westmorland General Hospital receives award for commitment to ensuring patient safety in trauma and orthopaedic surgery

Belinda Pharoah, Wayne Marshall, Beverley Foy and Alison Hawcroft

Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) in Kendal has been honoured as a National Joint Registry (NJR) ‘Quality Data Provider’ after successfully completing a national programme of orthopaedic data audits.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs WGH, is delighted with the award as it recognises the Trust’s commitment to patient safety and excellence of care.

The NJR monitors the performance of hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacement operations to improve clinical outcomes for the benefit of patients, clinicians and industry. The registry collects high quality orthopaedic data in order to provide evidence to support patient safety, standards in quality of care and overall cost effectiveness in joint replacement surgery.

The ‘NJR Quality Data Provider’ certificate scheme was introduced to offer hospitals a blueprint for reaching high quality standards relating to patient safety and reward those who have met registry targets in this area.

In order to achieve the award, hospitals are required to meet a series of six ambitious targets during the audit period 2019/2020. One of the targets which hospitals are required to complete is compliance with the NJR’s mandatory national audit aimed at assessing data completeness and quality within the registry.

The NJR Data Quality Audit investigates the accurate number of joint replacement procedures submitted to the registry compared to the number carried out and recorded in the local hospital Patient Administration System. The audit ensures that the NJR is collecting and reporting upon the most complete, accurate data possible across all hospitals performing joint replacement operations, including WGH.

NJR targets also include having a high level of patients consenting for their details to be included in the registry and for demonstrating timely responses to any alerts issued by the NJR in relation to potential patient safety concerns, if necessary.

The Medical Records department at UHMBT played a key role in achieving the award as the team members proactively pulled all of the patients records for cross checking against of NJR Audit data.

Beverley Foy, Assistant Service Manager for Trauma and Orthopaedics and Alison Hawcroft from the Theatres team at WGH, worked hard with the rest of the team to ensure that all targets were met within a set timeframe.

Beverley said: “It has been an excellent team effort and a great end result. Everyone has worked extremely hard on auditing the data and making sure that everything is correct. We have adopted new ways of working and have been very productive during these challenging times.

“The entire team is doing a fantastic job in making sure that all of the data is up to date. I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work. We will continue to work hard and maintain this high standard of auditing to ensure patient safety.”

Sue Smith, OBE, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive of UHMBT, said: “Improving patient safety is one of our main priorities and something all members of staff take very seriously.

“Members of the orthopaedic and partner teams have been working together to review and enhance every aspect of their service. This award recognises the commitment of the whole team and I would like to thank them all for what they are achieving. We fully support the National Joint Registry’s work in facilitating improvement in clinical outcomes and governance for the benefit of joint replacement patients. We’re delighted to have the ‘NJR Quality Data Provider’ award.”

National Joint Registry Medical Director, Tim Wilton, said: “Congratulations to colleagues at Westmorland General Hospital!

“The Quality Data Provider Award demonstrates the high standards being met towards ensuring compliance with the NJR and is often a reflection of strong departmental efforts to achieve such status. Registry data now provides an important source of evidence for regulators, such as the Care Quality Commission, to inform their judgements about services, as well as being a fundamental driver to inform improved quality of care for patients.”

Full details about the NJR’s Quality Data Provider certificate scheme can be found online at: