Patient Safety Resource Centre

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This month we feature content on culture and leadership in patient safety

Health Foundation resources


In his statement to parliament on Wednesday (9 March), the Secretary of State for Health remarked that there are two important ingredients for culture change in the NHS: “openness and transparency about where problems exist, and a true learning culture to put them right.”

Health care is a hazardous business. It brings together sick patients, complex systems, fallible professionals and advanced technology. It is classed as a ‘safety-critical industry’, where errors or design failures can lead to the loss of life. We all want to make care safer in our health service. But it’s complicated.

Last week the Secretary of State for Health delivered a speech on how safety would be improved in the NHS and bold pledges were made to reduce avoidable harm. Patient safety has long been a priority for healthcare. So what will need to be different if these pledges are to be met and where might we look for new ideas?