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Care Quality Commission. Signs of progress on learning from deaths—but a more open learning culture is needed across the NHS to drive further improvement. 2019. (accessed 29 September 2020)

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. Giving families a voice: HSIB's approach to patient and family engagement during investigations. 2020. (accessed 29 September 2020)

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Global and national perspectives on patient safety

08 October 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 18


John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses some recent national and global patient safety reports

The second World Patient Safety Day was held on 17 September 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) (2020a) made a call for global support, commitment and collective action by all countries and international partners to improve patient safety. The theme this year was health worker safety, marked with the launch of a health workers safety charter (WHO, 2020b). The Charter calls for actions to better protect health workers:

‘These include steps to protect health workers from violence; to improve their mental health; to protect them from physical and biological hazards; to advance national programmes for health worker safety, and to connect health worker safety policies to existing patient safety policies.’

Common sense dictates that to keep patients safe you also need to keep health workers safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world how important healthcare worker safety is and how vulnerable they are to risk of infection (WHO, 2020b).

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