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A global problem of epic proportions

10 October 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 18


John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses World Patient Safety Day, held on 17 September 2019, and some recent publications on national and global patient safety

The first World Patient Safety Day took place on 17 September 2019, a new addition to the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of officially mandated global public health days. On the day WHO launched a campaign, ‘Speak up for patient safety’, to create awareness of patient safety and to urge people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer (

‘World Patient Safety Day provides a focal point for healthcare and patient safety bodies, all over the world, to recognise the work they are doing and to share intelligence and resources with other organisations to improve patient safety system-wide.’

The publicity generated by World Patient Safety Day has worked to focus national and global attention on the issues of patient safety. The NHS and many other healthcare organisations, together with governments across the world, posted on social and national media their patient safety activities. Some governments lit up national buildings in the campaign's colour, orange, to celebrate the day and to show commitment and solidarity to the need for safer care.

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