Spotlight on: Kathrine Pitt, Safety Nurse

Safety Nurses were introduced last year to guarantee the safety of patients and to ensure a timely assessment is undertaken on all patients.

This is primarily for those who are unable to be offloaded from ambulances and to provide clinical support throughout the Emergency Department.

Kathrine Pitt is one of the many Band 5, 6 and 7 Nurses who cover this role.

“Since last year there has to be one Safety Nurse per shift,” said Kathrine.

“Our role is to assess those patients who are on ambulances to ensure they are monitored and kept safe.

“As a senior member of the Nursing Team, undertaking the Safety Nurse role, we make the decisions if patients require to be prioritised for admission to ED or can be located elsewhere liaising with the hospital’s paramedics, clinicians and departments.

“By assessing patients while they are still waiting, we can start to undertake investigations, request x-rays and obtain bloods.”

The decision to introduce Safety Nurses was taken to ensure that those most in need to be seen can receive medical care as soon as possible.

The hospital’s target, in line with national guidance, is for ambulance handovers to take place within 15 minutes.

“Last winter I remember attending over 20 patients in ambulances in a very short period of time,” added Kathrine.

“It all depends on the flow in the rest of the hospital and, as a Safety Nurse, I work to make sure the patients’ conditions do not deteriorate while they are waiting.

“We help to give patients a better start on their journey through the hospital and for this reason we need to be on the front foot.

“I really enjoy my role; I like to make decisions and support patient’s safety. Normally I spend around five to seven minutes with each patient in an ambulance and then I have to write all the notes into our systems.“

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