Trust launches new patient safety initiative - Call for concern

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has started to roll out a new 24/7 service that helps patients, relatives and carers get direct access to senior clinicians if they are concerned that ward staff aren’t recognising that a patient’s condition may be getting worse.    
The initiative, Call for concern, enables patients and families to call our response team at any time of day with their worries. The service is for patients who are staying in our hospitals. The response team, who already work closely with colleagues across our hospitals when a patient is very unwell, will assess the situation and take any action that’s needed.   
Clinical deterioration is detected by clinical staff every day, using their own skills, and knowledge as well as digital and other early warning systems. However, friends and relatives, as well as patients themselves, may spot ‘soft signs’ of deterioration before it becomes apparent to staff.   
Raymond Anakwe, medical director at the Trust, said: “Our priority is to deliver the highest level of care to our patients but, in some cases, it may be that a patient, or their friends and family, can see that there is something wrong before we do. Call for concern provides an additional safety net for the very good care we already provide.  
“While staff working on wards will continue to be the patient’s first point of contact, we hope this service allows for additional reassurance and empowers patients and their loved ones to raise any concerns they may have.”  

Call for concern was developed by the Royal Berkshire Foundation NHS Trust, and similar systems are used across the NHS and internationally. Through learning from patient safety incidents within our organisation, and those highlighted by national press coverage in other NHS trusts, we have seen the potential benefits that this service can offer.

Read more about Call for concern