Sign up to Safety update

At Sign up to Safety we are constantly reviewing what we have done and what we want to do in the future.  We have assessed the data, looked at what works and what doesn’t, and talked to loads of people who have been involved in our journey over the last 3 years.

We have found that not everyone is aware of how we have significantly evolved from the early days of Sign up to Safety in 2014.  We started out with a fairly traditional aim and approach; help the NHS reduce avoidable harm and save lives through the implementation of a set of safety interventions set out in safety improvement plans.  Now this is a really laudable aim but it was also a very busy playing field with all sorts of national and regional bodies and initiatives trying to do the same thing.

So we worked out where the gaps were; culture, relationship building, networking, kindness, positivity, supporting the learning from excellence initiatives and implementing safety II and we started to relentlessly focus on these gaps.  The thread throughout all of these is our throughline; helping people talk to each other.

So who are we now?

We are a Department of Health and Social Care commissioned team (and not as is often thought part of NHS England).  We help the NHS reduce avoidable harm and save lives by focusing on the following three key objectives.

Our three key objectives for 2018/19

  1. Build on the work of the Sign up to Safety campaign since 2014 and continue to focus on behaviours, attitudes and values that are vital for a safety culture via the mechanism of helping people talk to each other
  2. Support our current membership to build a safety culture, help people work safely and implement a new approach to safety (safety II) and build new membership, particularly in primary care
  3. Support two national priorities (the just culture and implementation of the revised NHS Resolution organisational strategy) with our work on safety culture

How are we doing this?

We started by thinking all we needed was to develop a ‘pack’ that would be a sort of ‘how to guide’ and then quickly realised it needed to be much less a guide and more a conversation in itself.  We wanted to create interactions with our members so that they could find out ideas, connect with others, and feel energised by the new knowledge and thinking.

We were helped by some trusty members who gave us their wise and honest advice. They reflected what we already knew, that asking people to talk to each other is a profoundly simple solution and that people find it difficult to accept simple solutions. What we started to do was almost apologetically turn something simple into something more complex.  To make us feel proactive we tried to turn what we know into a tool or technique or pack. We even started calling it a conversation pack and the methods as ‘Safety Conversations’.  What were we thinking?!

Calling them ‘Safety Conversations’ can be (and has been) misinterpreted and boom another trend is started.

We have enough checklists, policies and procedures to help people work safely.  There is already the confusion around the difference between huddles,  briefings, debriefings, handovers, and Schwartz rounds.  We even added to this list with our ‘kitchen tables’.  Why would we add to this with a ‘new’ thing called Safety Conversations?

So we have chosen not to do this.  Instead we have…

  • Designed a new website which will bring all of our thinking together with ways in which people can interact with us and the new ideas.  It is in the final stages of design but we wanted you to know that it is nearly there
  • Developed videos for you to download and share in your organisation
  • Recorded podcasts for you to listen to about what others are doing
  • Curated the latest thinking on safety and divided them up into 1min, 3 min, 5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min segments depending upon how much time you have
  • Launched #kind2018 – our key hashtag for 2018 to help people share their stories about kindness and being kind to others which includes people saying thank you to each other
  • Designed a ‘Matchmaking‘ initiative being launched this February
  • Continued with sharing our approach to holding conversations about safety through ‘kitchen table’ events and encouraging another national kitchen table week from 19 March
  • Redesigned our newsletters which are issued every other Wednesday which are applicable to everyone no matter where you work
  • Written and commissioned blogs which will continue throughout the year, including the real experiences of our members who are making this a reality where they work

We hope that you will find our new site easy and all of these things, practical and accessible and help you have the conversations you need.

We would love it if the focus of your conversations over the coming year on many of the previous blogs here…such as those on safety I to safety II and helping people work safely.  That you too concentrate on culture, relationship building, networking, kindness, positivity, learning from excellence, and implementing safety II in order to help them work safely.

We truly hope that these conversations will open up new ideas and insights, and enable you to help people to put forward their perspectives, help them be heard without being interrupted or ignored, feeling that their voice can make a difference.

And lastly, try out our ideas, explore the different ways and then if you can share with us what you have learnt and experienced. We would love to show off your work.

We really look forward to hearing from you.