PEWS Event

Physiological Early Warning Scores (PEWS) in Health Care Workshop

The Public Health Agency hosted a one day workshop on the 28th March 2012, in All Saints Parish Centre Ballymena; this was jointly organised with DHSSPS. The purpose of this event was to disseminate understanding of shared learning in relation to Physiological Early Warning Scores (PEWS) in health care. The co-ordinating group for the event had representation from DHSSPS, PHA, HSC Safety Forum, CCaNNI and GAIN.

This was a very successful event which included attendees from a variety of Health and Social Care Organisations and represented a range of staff from ward nurses, senior managers, doctors, chief executives, allied health professionals, directors and administrators.

The event was opened by Dr Michael McBride, who welcomed everyone and highlighted the importance of the event, particularly the learning for all present to promote best practice and prevent further serious incidents happening within health and social care, by the appropriate use of PEWS.

The morning was chaired by Mrs Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive, SHSCT, the sessions consisted of shared experiences from an expert panel consisting of Dr John Trinder, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, South Eastern Trust; Mr Peter Murphy, Divisional Director of Nursing for Surgery, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust; Prof Mary Dixon-Woods, Professor of Medical Sociology, Leicester University and Prof Gary Smith, Visiting Professor Centre of Post Graduate Medical Research and Education, Bournemouth. Following this, a group of local experts provided various solutions within their respective Trusts, this included:

  •   Ms Bernie McGibbon, Lead Nurse in the Children’s and Young Peoples directorate, SHSCT presented ‘From Inception to Delivery, Our Journey’. Presentation can be viewed here
  •   Mrs Joanna McCormick, Nurse Consultant in Critical Care, BHSCT – ‘Critical Care Outreach: Working with Wards to Benefit the Patient’. Presentation can be viewed here
  •   Mr Padraig Dougan, Resuscitation Officer, NHSCT – ‘E-Learning Programme for PEWS’. Presentation can be viewed here
  •   Dr Patrick Stewart, Consultant Anaesthetist, WHSCT – ‘Comparative Data and a Case for Uniformity’. Presentation can be viewed here

This which was a great opportunity to share best practice regionally. The aim of the morning session was to; highlight the 2011 Northern Ireland audit report, gain an insight into the systems that are working in a high performing organisation, understand the factors that can hinder or promote the uptake of Quality Improvement Methods and explore the benefits of Track and Trigger Tools. 

The interactive afternoon was chaired by Mr. Sean Donaghy, Chief Executive NHSCT, it consisted of 3 anonymous real case scenarios to highlight the challenge and complexity in decision making for the management of deteriorating patients. These were presented to the group by Dr Gavin Lavery, clinical director of N.I. Safety Forum this can be viewed here. This gave the participants the opportunity to interact and discuss best practice. This was followed by a group work session, facilitated by Mrs Mary McElroy, Patient Safety, Quality and Patient Experience Lead, PHA, and gave Trusts an opportunity to discuss the issues that have arisen, what they currently do in their organisations, and highlight 3 key messages to take back to their organisations for action.  

The event was closed by Ms. Angela McLernon, Acting Chief Nursing Officer who summed up the day’s event and commended the enthusiasm to continue to keep driving forward the safety and improvement work that will lead to all patients having the best outcome for their personal circumstances. 

A representative from the National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) hosted a stand at the event to promote the ongoing national clinical audit of in-hospital cardiac arrest with the aim of improving resuscitation care and outcomes for the UK and Ireland. For information on NCAA please see here

Overall, the day was well received by all and considered a valued learning event for Northern Ireland.