Put Safety First

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Bringing our pledges to life

Professor Berwick said the heart of safe care is a culture of learning. The campaign is deploying a number of different mechanisms including; learning events, webdives and webinars, focus groups and local networks to accelerate learning across the system.  In this second year of the campaign we will help organisations revisit and bring to life the five campaign pledges; put safety first, continually learn, be honest, collaborate and be supportive.  Our programme to bring the pledges to life starts in October with:

Put safety first – Committing to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half through taking a systematic approach to safety and making public locally developed goals, plans and progress. Instil a preoccupation with failure so that systems are designed to prevent error and avoidable harm.  We have curated links for participants and will have a number of focused webinars across the month.  During this time we will develop our understanding to share across the NHS on how we can adopt a more systematic approach; we will work with the national leaders of individual ‘harms’ and over the course of the year we will persuade organisations and individuals to focus on the cross cutting contributory system and human factors that impact safety every day. This may mean that they end up stopping things that are simply not working.  We will help people re(think) patient safety.  We will focus on creating a continuous learning culture which addresses our current failure to learn from incidents and investigations but also encourages organisations and individuals to share what they are learning from implementing change.  We will do so through a number of different activities and events in October culminating in our unique event bringing people together from across the system to get beneath the surface of why there is an implementation gap.

This will then be followed by:

December; Continually learn – Reviewing incident reporting and investigation processes to make sure they are truly learning from them and using these lessons to make organisations more resilient to risks.  Listen, learn and act on the feedback from patients and staff and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe services are

February; Be honest – Being open and transparent with people about progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong

April; Collaborate – Stepping up and actively collaborating with other organisations and teams; sharing work, ideas and learning to create a truly national approach to safety. Working together with others, to join forces and create partnerships that ensure a sustained approach to sharing and learning across the system

June; Be supportive – Be kind to staff, help them bring joy and pride to their work.  Be thoughtful when things go wrong; help staff cope and create a positive just culture that asks why things go wrong in order to put them right. Give staff the time, resources and support to work safely and to work on improvements.  Thank staff, reward and recognise their efforts and celebrate progress towards safer care

We will share lessons and best practice via videos, frontline videos, webinars which focus on the pledges as well as the cross cutting themes and we will share a variety of blogs, podcasts, and polls so staff can get directly involved in our shared cause.  We would love you to keep sharing your work and stories in our e-newsletter, SignUPdate, so they reach frontline staff who are not actively engaged with the campaign directly.

The Author

We are Cat Harrison, Dane Wiig and Suzette Woodward - three people who are passionate about patient safety and caring for the people that care.