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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust launches new patient safety initiative

On Wednesday, 1 May 2024 West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is launching a new patient safety initiative for the public, called ‘Call 4 Concern’. Already in place in a number of NHS Trusts, Call 4 Concern (C4C) enables patients and loved ones to phone for help and advice if they feel their healthcare team has not recognised their own, or their loved one’s worsening condition while they are in West Suffolk Hospital.

C4C is run by the Trust’s critical care outreach team (CCOT) who are a small team of highly trained nurses providing care to the sickest patients outside of the intensive care unit.

When a patient or their loved one phones the C4C team, a member of the CCOT will come and review the patient on the ward if deemed appropriate. They will prioritise the patient and assess the situation, discuss the concerns raised and liaise with the patient’s medical team, and other healthcare professionals on the ward, to discuss further treatment options.

The C4C team can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phoning the West Suffolk Hospital switchboard on 01284 713000 and asking to speak to the ‘Call 4 Concern’ team. The caller must know the name of the patient they are worried about, the ward they are staying on, and must describe the issue they are concerned about.

Before Call 4 Concern is activated, any worries or concerns should always be discussed with the ward team caring for the patient. However, having had that conversation with ward staff, if the patient or loved one still feels there is confusion over what needs to be done, or they remain concerned they are getting more unwell, then they should phone Call 4 Concern.

Julie Head, head of deteriorating patient safety at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, commented:

“We understand that sometimes a patient or loved one can see something is wrong before the healthcare team does, or before clinical signs become obvious. Nobody knows a patient’s needs better than themselves or their loved ones.

“The faster we can recognise when a patient’s condition is getting worse, the quicker we can get them the help they need.

“The Call 4 Concern team works alongside ward staff to provide patients with an extra layer of vigilance and reassurance, and shows our community how committed we are to providing the best care we possibly can.”

It is important to note that the C4C service exists only to raise urgent issues about deteriorating patients. It must not be used for any other reason.

If a patient or loved one would like to report any other issue, such as problems regarding the hospital bed, room, food, parking, or other general issues, they should speak to a nurse or ward manager.

For updates on patients on an inpatient ward, the Clinical Helpline is available on 01284 713155.

To provide feedback or make a complaint, patients or their loved ones should contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.

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Critical care outreach nurse Tina Clemens with a patient

Critical care outreach nurse Tina Clemens with a patient