Background & Problem
Over the last 10 years GHNHSFT has made payments for patient lost property claims of over £110K. This does not include the time and administration costs investigating and processing lost property claims. In recent years this has reduced but still equates to a significant sum which could be better used providing patient care.
To reduce patient lost property claims on 2 wards in 6 months. This will:
- Improve the patient experience
- Reduce time in investigating and processing claims for wards staff and administration staff.
- Reduce financial cost of claims.
The main method was communicating with ward staff the importance of storing and recording property. We did this by:
- Highlighting the cost of claims
- Improving storage bags
- Providing information to patients on expectations regarding responsibility of property.
Staff were more informed regarding the cost of items and financing claims came from the ward budget.
Staff preferred the new patient property storage bag, allowing better and more storage.
Lost property claims reduced on all wards during the 6 month trial.
The wards who engaged in the trial had single points of contact for me to liaise with and this promoted a clear communication channel when introducing changes.
Unfortunately other wards with higher numbers of patient property claims did not have the time to engage in the project. Engaging with these wards would have provided a greater impact and benefit to the Trust.
One lesson learnt is that face to face regular contact with wards proved more effective than email communication.
The new Patient Property Bags have now been introduced Trustwide.
Giving wards regular updates on patient property claims and associated costs would be the next steps.
In order to spread the changes and communication Trust wide I would propose a Lost Property Lead on each ward to help promote changes and lessons learnt from lost property investigations.
Quality Improvement Presenter(s)
Lynsey Hitchings, Administration and Project Manager GMS
Quality Improvement Team
Allison Hutt, Ward 7a
Hilary Martindale, Ward 7a
Rachel Barnett, Ward 7b
Deanna Rooney, Ward 3b
Annie Elyan & Catherine Butler, Hazleton
Kerry Morris, Ward 8a