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?
Fifteen years ago I was involved in developing a performance assessment framework for the NHS – an attempt to provide the public with a rounded analysis of their local NHS bodies. At the time, we were advised by Don Berwick to include a domain on patient safety alongside clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, access and efficiency.