Huge reduction in preventable cardiac arrests at Whipps Cross | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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Huge reduction in preventable cardiac arrests at Whipps Cross

Three years ago Whipps Cross site was an outlier for ward cardiac arrest rates by the data from the National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) database.

To address these concerns, I formed a group to improve the recognition of and response to deteriorating patients.

Setting up the Deteriorating Patient Group

The Deteriorating Patient Group was made up with representation from all clinical areas and specialties, including the Resuscitation Services, Acute Response Team, Governance Team and the Quality Improvement Team. A system level aim was set to eliminate preventable cardiac arrest on the wards – which also happens to be one of our quality objectives this year. This was chosen as an aspirational target, but even to ourselves it seemed unlikely that we would be able to achieve that aspirational goal.

Over three years the team has changed structure and adapted, but the mission remained the same. We were delighted to be recognised in this year’s Barts Health Quality Summit as the site who had achieved the biggest improvement in preventable arrests, with an impressive 32% reduction in ward cardiac arrests in one financial year.

A big achievement in patient safety

I am delighted to say that we have not sat on our laurels, but can with great pleasure announce that in the calendar month of June, Whipps Cross Hospital had not a single ward based cardiac arrest, the first time we think this has happened on record.

This is a great testament to all our teams and wards, who continue to work hard to ensure that patients who are deteriorating are spotted early and responded to appropriately, either with additional escalation of care, or recognition that they may be entering an end of life phase with appropriate transition to limits of care or compassionate care planning.

I am immensely proud of this aspirational target having been delivered, and of all those who have helped to deliver it, and hope this will not be the only time we can pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the excellence of the Whipps Cross family.

Dr Tom Smith,



Add a response »
  1. Denise McEneaney Friday, 13 July 2018 at 01:16 PM

    What an amazing achievement - this is huge!!!
    Well done to everyone for making care safe and compassionate for our patients

  2. Sanjay Gohil Saturday, 14 July 2018 at 06:29 PM

    Hi. Great achievement. Congratulations. Do you feel a digital intervention could contribute to a further decrease? I would appreciate it if you could send me your thoughts. I look forward to your reply. Kind regards. Sanjay.