A mental health ward at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is the first in-patient ward across the region to receive national accreditation by the Yorkshire and Humber ANSN* Improvement Academy for its quality of safety huddles.

Staff on Heather ward, based at Airedale Centre for Mental Health, which supports people with complex mental health problems ‘huddle’ twice a day so they can identify any ways they can better support people on the ward in the day ahead and keep people safe.

Laura Frost, Ward Manager, said: “People come onto Health ward when they are very unwell and need more intensive support. Huddles allow us to be more proactive in supporting people and preventing potential incidents such as a fall rather than reacting to them once they have happened.

“We identify anything from physical health monitoring needs to patients who may require a soft diet and supervised meal times, focusing on making sure our services are as safe as possible for everyone at all times. When we identify any issues we develop a plan to proactively manage them rather than react when they happen.”

Safety huddles provide dedicated time for the whole time to focus on any potential risks. They are led by the nurse in charge and include all members of team from housekeeping and admin staff to consultants and senior managers on the ward and provide an opportunity for everyone in the team to discuss key areas all staff need to be aware of.

Katie Eacret, Assistant Ward Manager, said: “Being the first ward across the country to receive national accreditation is a huge achievement for all the team. Safety huddles have changes how we manage risk and the way we support people daily. They provide an important space for discussion where all staff in our team can raise safety issues.

Huddles are now taking place across all the Care Trust’s in-patient wards.