Developing perspectives in NHS patient safety
John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses some recent patient safety and health quality reports
There is a lot written on patient safety both nationally and internationally with many stakeholders all keen to advance their perspectives. Health is everybody's business, and such engagement is understandable and necessary. The patient safety culture debate is kept alive by such dialogue and policies, and practices can become better informed. The difficulty for busy staff, as I have stated before, is keeping up to date with all this information, distilling and applying appropriate findings. Reports need to be effectively analysed and relevant information distilled, cascaded down to appropriate teams and staff. This, however, is much easier said than done.
In terms of patient safety improvement practices and culture development, a recent report published by Healthcare Excellence Canada (Gilbert et al, 2023) provides some interesting and valuable perspectives. A call for a new patient safety approach is made and there is much food for thought. Progress in improving patient safety has not been as straightforward as expected, with fewer gains. The authors argue a change in patient safety mindset is needed, and consider how this might be achieved. There is a need to shift focus from measuring and responding to harm to taking a more holistic, system-wide view:
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