Cumbria Crack

Campaign developed in Cumbria to improve care of vulnerable patients launches nationally

A project called Stop And Watch, which was used firstly in America and modified for use in North Cumbria, has now been launched across the county and the North East to help people to spot the signs that vulnerable patients’ conditions, including those with a learning disability or the elderly, are deteriorating.

The simple tool is designed to raise awareness of twelve signs of deterioration and supports carers, along with families and relatives, to seek appropriate assistance when needed. It is hoped the project will support people to be confident to raise concerns, and could lead to preventing patients becoming unnecessarily unwell.

The tool was developed through learning from issues highlighted in reviews where patients could have been helped sooner, and has since been shared across England through the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme, following presentations at national conferences in Manchester and in the North East.

Stop And Watch is now being rolled out across more than 104 residential homes and nursing homes in Cumbria, and this month was presented to health and care staff at an Enhanced Health in Care Home Conference in Cumbria. Requests for the training materials have also been received from areas including Lancaster, Leeds, Coventry and Camden.

The Early Warning Tool will also be included in care certificate training in hospital settings across both Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Anna Stabler

Anna Stabler, Director of Nursing and Quality for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, led the development of the project and said: “A lot of work has gone into producing the Stop And Watch locally and has become a fantastic tool for anyone who provides care or support to a vulnerable person.

“The project has been supported online, with communications materials produced to allow messages to be easily shared with the public, and we are now keen for it to reach as wider audience as possible.”

Judith Thompson, North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network Manager, said: “It’s a pragmatic and straightforward tool that will play a huge role in spotting deteriorating health and getting early help for people with learning disability and other vulnerable groups.

“The campaign has now been rolled out across our entire region and It’s effectiveness will play a huge role in saving lives.”

There have been a number of simple aid memoirs produced as part of the project, encouraging the Early Warning Tool to be adopted by everyone.

A poster that was designed to be displayed in healthcare settings is also available

Further information about the project is available online, here:

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