Giving essential content to the National Patient Safety Syllabus and curricula
John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses several publications from NHS Resolution that should provide essential educational content for enhanced training on patient safety.
The National Patient Safety Syllabus 2.0 has recently been published (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AOMRC), 2021a), with a SharePoint section on the Health Education England website linking to the syllabus itself, implementation, rationale and other essential documents. This syllabus applies to all NHS employees, who should receive enhanced patient safety training.
Any curriculum stands or falls by its content, the teaching and educational materials used. In terms of medico-legal education, professional responsibilities and patient safety there is already a wide range of materials publicly available, and careful selection of appropriate content will be key to avoid NHS staff being swamped and overwhelmed.
Under Domain 1, ‘Systems approach to patient safety’, sections include:
Within these sections are ‘capabilities’, where essential learning outcomes are described. These include, in 1.6:
And in 1.7:
The above provide an essential contextual bedrock to patient safety in the NHS. The law affects the delivery of care in many ways, in a clinical negligence case it will set the standard of health professional competence to be exercised and determine the level of any compensation to be awarded along with several other issues. There could also be issues around access to health care in a particular case, raising human rights and judicial review. The law maintains a framework for patient capacity, best interests, consent and confidentiality issues. It adjudicates on fundamental issues relating to the beginning and ending of life and so on. There is an intrinsic link between the delivery of healthcare services and the law. It is hard to think of any aspect of healthcare delivery that does not have a legal perspective.
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