Putting a ‘positive spin’ on Risk Registers!


Do you know what to do when you identify a risk? Have a read below at a scenario and think

about how you can and should be managing risks you identify.


Pat is a Ward Manager in one of the three acute sites. On a wet and windy winter day, she

resumes her morning shift and finds a Patient had been admitted to the Ward during the

night with suspected Norovirus (vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea). 

Although the Patient was admitted in a single room, Pat reminded the Ward staff of the

relevant protocols for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. These protocols included

a risk assessment; the use of alcohol hand rub; staff wearing of aprons and gloves; hand

washing with liquid soap and water and other measures to prevent the spread of infection in

the ward. Due to proactive measures taken by Pat and the Ward Staff, this proved to be an

isolated & 'event'

Pat had previously identified the risk of 'Failure to manage the spread of infectious diseases'

and had put in place robust controls to reduce the risk if it happened. She was aware there

could potentially be several consequences if this risk was not well managed. Some of

these could be:


  • Potential harm to Patients and Staff as a result of uncontrolled spread of infectious

  • disease

  • Complaints from Patients 

  • Legal claims from Patients


Can you think of some other consequences of not managing this risk?


What did Pat do when she identified this risk? 


  • Pat discussed this risk with her Manager and recorded it as a risk on the Ward's Risk Register

  • In addition, Pat ensured the relevant policies (Policy for the Management and Control of Outbreaks of Infection and Policy for the Management of Outbreaks of Viral

Gastroenteritis Due to Norovirus and procedures were in place to reduce this risk and communicated them to the Ward Staff.


Thanks to Pat and the Ward Staff, they were well prepared and managed the 'event' appropriately when it happened without causing harm to Patients and/or Staff.


We all have an important role to play in managing risks

We are individually and collectively responsible for identifying,

reporting/escalating and managing risks we're faced with in our day-to-day roles. 


By identifying risks, recording them on risk registers and following the relevant

process/procedure to reduce the risk, risks are managed/escalated at the right level across

the Organisation.


To help you think about risk management, we can work with you and your Organisation to

put together a practical solution tailor made to suit your requirements.