National Patient Safety Strategy

Sign up to Safety is one part of a whole safety system that should be ‘wired together’ to support the conditions for safety.

The unique bit about Sign up to Safety is that it is a campaign – and as such is not about developing new improvement activity.  As a campaign its part in the system is to help learning, sharing and implementation to help make care safer.  It raises awareness about the problems, the solutions and where we should think differently.  As a campaign it uses social movements and campaigning methods which are developing locally led actions and mobilising self-directed safety improvement.  We are also able to work at a national level across the while system to create a coherent approach e.g. working with the national leads for harm based areas such as falls and sepsis to ensure they are helping the frontline cope with the competing interests and ‘wiring up’ the system through strong partnerships, including all the key partners (above) and in particular the patient safety collaboratives and Q initiative; as well as working closely with the NHS LA and supporting their new incentive scheme.

Sign up to Safety therefore adds value and compliments the additional components of the national patient safety strategy which includes the following:

National leadership through the national patient safety team (moving to NHS Improvement under the leadership of Mike Durkin)

Learning from incidents and improved incident investigation via the National Reporting and Learning System and the new Independent patient safety investigation service under the leadership of Mike Durkin

Collaboration through the fifteen patient safety collaboratives sited in each Academic Health Science Network; teams of people who tackle intractable problems and find out how they can be solved and develop the right solutions or safer practices e.g. medication safety, pressure ulcers, and falls.  The programme will run over five years

Building individual capability and a network of quality improvers via the Q initiative – a partnership with The Health Foundation to create 5000 quality improvers over the next five years

Buddying through the five organisations that will be supported by staff from the Virginia Mason Institute (US) who will spend time in the five trusts over the course of the next five years helping the doctors, nurses and leaders figure out how they can improve using the tools developed in Seattle. The programme will run over five years and set five NHS trusts on the road to becoming leading healthcare institutions, at the same time sharing learning and benefitting the NHS as a whole

Patient safety education via Health Education England and the Patient Safety Commission

Patient safety standards and regulation via the professional and organisational regulators and inspections

Financial incentives to reduce harm associated with claims through the NHS Litigation Authority in partnership with Sign up to Safety

All this variety of activity can have the potential to create confusion at the frontline.  Participants frequently look to Sign up to Safety for clarity around the national system for patient safety.  Therefore one other aspect of the campaign is its ability to help make sense of the current system and to explain any changes in the patient safety system for the frontline.