Risk Management in the NHS

Including CCG’s, Private Hospitals, Care Homes & General Practice

NHS Risk Management

Bodies working within the Health Care sector undertake a wide range of activity ranging from complex patient care and safety issues to more routine back office or support roles. Organisations may therefore have different perceptions of how sophisticated their risk management processes need to be in order to demonstrate good governance through effective mitigation of the risks being faced.

The concept of a Board Assurance Framework (BAF) has existed in the National Health Service for over a decade and now should reflect the expectations of the NHS Oversight Framework 2019/20 in respect of NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts and CCG’s, where a focus is given to monitoring of performance and the identification of support needs across sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care systems (ICSs) in an agreed approach by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Under-pinning such an approach an effective risk management system aligned to the BAF should highlight concerns as they arise by identifying and considering significant risk to the non-achievement of objectives at all levels in order to mitigate risk to a residual level within the Board’s agreed risk appetite, taking account of the discussions with the above bodies. In essence, effective use of an organisation risk management software should highlight those matters that are worthy of discussion at all levels of governance.

Recent events will have tested risk management systems at extreme levels where the demand for intensive and specific care has been dominant, with back-up and continuity planning so evidently required. There will be a time for lessons to be learnt which will inevitably consider not just what risks were experienced but more so perhaps, what the cost of maintaining readiness in the case of critical business risk actually is, should such an event as COVID 19 occur in future.

The NHS undoubtedly has risk management systems in place but did they consider the extent of such a ‘Never Event’ or did they skim the surface. Boards will in future need to ensure that in both clinical and no-clinical areas that they dive deep where this is required to gain assurance that they remain in control.

In other aspects of the health economy the development of effective risk management processes is uncertain; some will have fulfilled legislative reporting requirements or to satisfied CQC governance requirements regarding: 

  • Person-centred care – providing individuals with care or treatment that’s tailored,
  • Dignity and respect – treating every single person in care with dignity,
  • Consent – when needing to make decisions about peoples’ care and treatment, and
  • Safety – ensuring that care and treatment is safe at all times.

 The use of RiskMate will support an organisation’s needs no matter what the size of the organisation by focusing on business-critical risks. This ensures that the board not only fulfils its regulatory responsibilities to review the organisation’s significant risks as well as the controls to mitigate and manage these risks appropriately; but uses the risk management software as a focus for its wider governance aspirations regarding performance and sustainability. As such, it should ensure that a focus is provided on what matters most. 

Operating in real-time on cloud-based software, RiskMate will help ensure that you maintain control as well as looking ahead to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for what your organisation may face.

Contact us to see how RiskMate can help the NHS with risk management