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Burns surgery handover study: Trainees' assessment of current practice in the British Isles

Al-Benna, S; Al-Ajam, Y; Alzoubaidi, D; (2009) Burns surgery handover study: Trainees' assessment of current practice in the British Isles. BURNS , 35 (4) 509 - 512. 10.1016/j.burns.2008.11.008.

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Introduction: Effective handover of clinical information between working shifts is essential for patient safety. The aim of this study was to identify current practice and trainees' assessment of handover in the burns units of the British Isles.Methods: A telephone questionnaire was conducted to trainee burns surgeons (at junior and senior grades) currently working at all 30 burns surgery units in the British Isles. Information regarding timing, location, duration, participation and quality of handover was collated anonymously. Trainees commented on satisfaction with current practice and its perceived safety.Results: A 100% response from all 30 units was obtained. 23/30 units (76.7%) had junior to junior trainee handovers. 17/30 (56.7%) had senior to senior trainee handovers. 19/30 units (63.3%) reported that handover took place with more than one grade of doctor present (range 1-4 grades). 3/30 (10%) reported that handover was bleep-free. 3/30 (10%) had received formal training on good burns handover. 5/30 (16.7%) were working in a unit that operated a "burns surgeon of the week" pattern of emergency cover. Mean satisfaction level was 3.8 out of 5. Those working in "surgeon of the week" teams had significantly higher scores, 4.4 versus 3.68 (p = 0.037). Other healthcare professionals were present at only 4/30 (13.3%) handovers. Overall 26/30 (86.7%) of trainees judged their current handover practice "safe" (100% in "surgeon of week" group and 84% in the remaining group, p = 0.289).Conclusions: Effective handover remains a keystone in safe and effective communication between doctors. The study highlights areas for improvement in handover practice, including greater involvement of an integrated multidisciplinary team. Those working under the "surgeon of the week" pattern are more satisfied. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd and ISBI.

Type: Article
Title: Burns surgery handover study: Trainees' assessment of current practice in the British Isles
DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2008.11.008
Keywords: Patient handover, Burns, INTENSIVE-CARE, PATIENT, AVIATION, SAFETY
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Surgery and Interventional Science (Division of)
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1339219
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