Safe safety conversations 

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The next step in the Sign up to Safety team’s exploration into different methods to create ‘safe’ safety conversations happened last week. 

We facilitated a conversation between a group of clinicians and a mixed group of policy makers and patients. 

The subject was investigations. Primarily what does it feel like to be part of an investigation both from the staff and patient perspective. 

We both want the same thing

Was the conclusion at the end of the session. 

Both sides want to be treated as a human being. 

Both want empathy, trust, the truth and forgiveness. To forgive and to receive forgiveness. 

It was a powerful conversation that was so skilfully facilitated by David (Naylor) that at no point did anyone feel unsafe or unable to say really what they wanted to say. 

This time we used a fishbowl (last time we used trios). Same principles:

  • Have a question to explore
  • Give people time to speak 
  • Ensure people really (and I mean really) listen
  • Ask clarifying questions that expand the conversation rather than stifle 
  • Observe what is being said and what isn’t 
  • Make a record of learning themes in real time

I can’t wait for the next experience- we are learning so much. 

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.