The NHS is admired around the world as one of the safest and most productive healthcare systems there is. However, we recognise there is much more that can be done for our patients and want to support the entire NHS to be a system that can continuously learn and improve to deliver ever safer care.
To support everyone working in the NHS and related organisations to achieve that, we have come up with a set of proposals for an ambitious national patient safety strategy that we are currently consulting on.
Just like Q itself, our proposals build on the vision set out by the Berwick report in 2013. For some aspects we are proposing to continue and evolve existing good work, such as the patient safety collaboratives and the creation of a new patient safety incident management system. But we are also looking to introduce new measures such as a national patient safety curriculum and the establishment of a network of patient safety specialists to be identified patient safety leads within their organisations.
The recently published Long Term Plan sets out an ambitious roadmap for the NHS over the next ten years. We must ensure that patient safety is the golden thread in its delivery, from everyone getting the best start in life to ensuring people are supported to age well.
We must ensure that patient safety is the golden thread in its delivery, from everyone getting the best start in life to ensuring people are supported to age well.
The Long Term Plan rightly acknowledges the huge successes that the NHS has made in recent decades including improving the safety of mothers and babies and male suicide being at a 31 year-low.
But there is a huge potential to do even more. Our data tells us that we could save many lives and half a billion pounds a year by improving patient safety and reducing harm. I know that achieving this will be a tall order, but patients deserve and expect us to be ambitious.
Our proposals are very much the skeleton that the final strategy will be formed around. We therefore need people like you to give us feedback and tell us what you think based on your own knowledge and practical experience. We also want to hear ideas on what you think we could do from our central position as the national patient safety team to support the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world.
The Q community is ideally placed to provide this input. Your range of roles, the organisations you represent, your commitment to the principles of continuous learning and improvement, and levels of experience, make members of Q an ideal collective source of knowledge for us to test our proposals, and help ensure our final strategy will offer the right and most productive approach for today’s NHS.
We would be most grateful if each of you can please take the time to visit our consultation web pages and share your views, feedback, ideas and opinions via our online survey. The survey remains open until 15 February 2019.
As part of the consultation we are running a series of focus groups across the country. One element of our strategy is a patient advocate for safety role and we are running a focus group on this topic in London on 20 February 2019. We have recruited patient representatives but we would also like some staff representatives to attend. If you are a Q member who is a patient and public involvement lead or a patient safety lead in an acute Trust and would be interested in taking part, please contact Wayne Robson in the NHS Improvement Patient Safety Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 February 2019. Please note places are limited.
Thank you for your support.