The Health Foundation (http://www.health.org.uk/) is an “independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the United Kingdom.” The £400,000 ($600,000 US dollars) grant will help fund 20 institutions in the United Kingdom to join the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) and evaluate in detail the benefits to patients, their families, the institutions and to the wider NHS of membership. The evaluation includes robust, independent economic assessment as well as key qualitative and quantitative data to assess the impact on the quality and safety of care for this vulnerable group. The project will also examine barriers to change and capture learning on how individuals, departments and systems overcame these in the NHS. No doubt many lessons learned will be transferable to other healthcare systems around the world.
Founded in 2012, the GTC (globaltrach.org) is an international Quality Improvement Collaborative with the goal of improving tracheostomy care. Member hospitals commit to a multidisciplinary tracheostomy team model that has achieved radical reductions in adverse events. The GTC’s HIPAA compliant database tracks institutions’ outcomes and provides benchmarking. Webinars and forums foster a community of world experts passionate about improving tracheostomy care for their patients.
The GTC has rapidly become established as a successful organization and the significant financial support offered by this grant endorses the Collaborative, its work to date and its future potential. Dr. Brendan McGrath is the National Tracheostomy Lead Clinician for NHS England. He has led and supported the Health Foundation SHINE project in South Manchester, implementing the GTC into 4 diverse hospitals. The rapid success demonstrated in these acute NHS institutions laved the way for the expanded project to evaluate the GTC in the wider NHS. We anticipate continuing to replicate the significant improvements in the frequency, nature, and severity of harm in tracheostomy patients which translated into reduced lengths of stay, more rapid communication and swallowing and increased patient and carer satisfaction with our care.
To find out more about our work, visit http://www.health.org.uk/programmes/spreading-improvement/projects/improving-tracheostomy-care.