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Improving patient safety through nurse education

21 March 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 6

Patient safety is central to the delivery of care and is, therefore, an essential component of the education of current and future health professionals (Health Education England, 2016; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2023). Students need to acknowledge that, although the health service aims to do no harm, patients receiving health care come to harm every day (NHS England, 2022a). This can be upsetting for students and requires educational support and innovative teaching to prevent a negative learning experience and demotivation.

Rising incident figures and yearly recurrence of failures in patient safety continue, suggesting the need for innovative ways of embedding patient safety into education. The new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) (NHS England, 2022b) uses a systems-based approach that moves away from individual blame and looks at how incidents happen and their impact on all those involved, including patients, relatives and staff. The framework aims to improve ways of working and enhance institutional memory by learning from incidents. Working to create a positive patient safety culture needs to start with undergraduate nurse training.

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