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Escalation toolkit

Overall aims of the campaign

 The overall aims of the campaign to improve clinical escalation are:

  • To reduce delays in escalation by improving the response escalation and action taken
  • To standardise the use of safety critical language
  • To reduce feelings of hierarchy, creating a supportive environment which empowers staff of all levels to speak up when they identify deterioration or a potential mistake
  • To promote a culture of respect, kindness and civility amongst staff members, normalising positive feedback and saying thank you to each other
  • To improve the ways in which we listen to women

Read more about setting up a campaign in the Change Management Toolkit

The throughline of the campaign is:

Helping maternity units to build the right culture, behaviours and conditions that enables effective clinical escalation

In by far the majority of cases, teams work together, communicate well and escalate effectively to achieve positive outcomes and birth experiences for women and babies. It is important to both recognise and celebrate the incredible work maternity teams up and down the country perform every single day.

However, it is in the rare but devastating cases that we see common themes of poor communication, failed escalation, or ineffective teamwork. This is particularly so when individuals, teams, or the whole system are fatigued or under stress, often due to a high workload.

At times of immense pressure, we often see a rise in incivility, which in turn has the potential to impact adversely on patient safety. The interventions are therefore designed to promote excellence in communication, teamwork, and escalation at all times, by providing standardised frameworks for all staff to use.

The three interventions can be launched together or separately, under an overall campaign banner of ICA: 'Identify, Communicate, Act'.

See resources on incivility in the Workplace Behaviour Toolkit