Salisbury Foundation Trust


Internal Reference Number: FOI_5093

Date Request Received: 06/06/2019 12:17:15

Date Request Replied To: 01/08/2019 12:38:47

This response was sent via: By Email

Request Summary: Patient Safety Alert (PSA) for hyperkalaemia

Request Category: Companies

Question Number 1:
In 2018 NHS Improvement issued a Patient Safety Alert (PSA), entitled Resources to support safe and timely management of hyperkalaemia (high level of potassium in the blood) which outlined specific actions for NHS trusts to implement in order to improve safety for patients at risk of hyperkalaemia. The deadline for completion was 8th May 2019. NHS Improvement’s recommendations were to:
- Identify a senior clinician in the organisation to lead the response to the alert
- Review or produce local guidance (including key steps or easy reference guides) for the management of hyperkalaemia that aligns with the evidence-based sources highlighted by NHS Improvement
- Ensure that local guidance can be easily accessed by all staff including bank and agency staff
- Use local communication strategies to make all staff aware that hyperkalaemia is a potentially life-threatening condition and that its timely identification, treatment and monitoring during and beyond initial treatment is essential
I would like to request information which sets out what steps the Trust has taken to implement each of the recommended actions (1 to 5) outlined in the Management of Hyperkalaemia PSA. Specifically, I request the following information relating to the PSA:

Question 1:
Has a senior clinician in the Trust been appointed to lead the response to this alert?
If yes, please name the individual
If no, please specify the reason for the lack of appointment and anticipated timelines for an appointment to be made
Answer To Question 1:
Yes - Dr James Haslam, Consultant Anaesthetist & Intensivist
Question Number 2:
Has the trust reviewed existing - or produced new - local guidance for the management of hyperkalaemia?
If yes, please share the relevant guidance and provide details of any changes made during the review
If no, please specify why this has not taken place and any future plans to do so
Answer To Question 2:
Yes - 'Medical management of metabolic disturbances - Electrolytes' available at the following link:


Question Number 3:
Has the trust taken steps to ensure that local guidance can be easily accessed by all staff?
If yes, please outline the specific measures taken
If no, please specify the reasons why not and any future plans to do so
Answer To Question 3:
Yes guidelines available on ICID (database that stores all clinical policies and guidelines) at the link in answer to question 2.
Question Number 4:
Has the trust revised local training and audit to ensure that relevant guidance and resources are embedded in clinical practice?
If yes, please outline the specific measures taken and signpost to updated documents
If no, please specify the reasons why not and any future timelines in doing so
Answer To Question 4:
An audit on the use of the guidelines is in progress. From this, an action plan will be agreed and training is likely to be included in the plan.
Question Number 5:
Has the trust used local communication strategies to raise staff awareness of hyperkalaemia diagnosis and treatment?
If yes, please specify the measures taken
If no, please specify the reasons why and any future plans to do so
Answer To Question 5:
Yes via our Clinical Risk Group and clinical leads.
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