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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s ground breaking nasogastric tube e-learning tool that improves patient safety and reduces potential harm has been adopted nationally.

The e-learning tool reinforces the correct way to insert and confirm the position of nasogastric tubes (NGT) to reduce error and focus attention onto patient safety.

Nasogastric tubes are small feeding tubes which are used for short or medium term nutritional support. The e-learning tool provides background and context to inform why a nasogastric tube may be used, theoretical practice relating to key learnings such as the positioning of nasogastric tubes, as well as formal training and multiple choice questions to evaluate knowledge on how to interpret chest x-rays to confirm position of nasogastric tubes.

Tracy Earley, Consultant Nurse for Nutrition at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said: “We are delighted with the improvements that this resource can make to patient safety. We really are leading the way in education and improved safety for our staff and for others too with tools like these. It has been so well received that several other trusts have adopted the use of the e-learning tool which is amazing to see. We are thankful to everyone who has helped to create this tool, including the radiology team, our blended learning team, and public involvement in the way of families.”

This e-learning tool was developed because Tracy had identified a number of preventable incidents had occurred across the country due to incorrect insertion of NGTs, which could be prevented in future with better training and education.

The tool has now been adopted by Health Education England who now use this tool nationally as a free resource for all staff.

The training is now a mandatory e-learning tool for all relevant staff groups and is continually being audited to ensure that it is as effective as it can be.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “This is a great example of leadership and innovation. Tracy has both identified an opportunity to provide safer care, and taken responsibility for developing a tool which has now been shared so that it benefits patients throughout the NHS.”

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