Patient safety in the NHS: now is the time for optimism
John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, considers the need for optimism about NHS patient safety
In any professional endeavour there is a need for optimism, to believe a promising future lies ahead and that what we are doing means something and makes sense. We don't want to be seen to be running to stand still and that all our efforts are directed to crisis handling and firefighting. We don't want to be caught in a loop where there is no thinking about the future because we are all too busy for reflection.
Looking at the history of patient safety policy making and practice in the NHS it is possible to detect elements of the crisis handling approach. The NHS has been rocked over time by patient safety crises, discussed in my previous columns, and they continue.
When we look back to An Organisation with a Memory (Department of Health (DH), 2000), we can see that many of the patient safety problems highlighted then are still largely with us today. It is a salutary exercise to reflect on this quote from the report and ask whether it still applicable today:
Register now to continue reading
Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:
Limited access to clinical or professional articles
Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content