Health Secretary launches new patient safety collaboratives
October 14, 2014
A new national programme will be launched today by Jeremy Hunt,
Secretary of State for Health, to improve the safety of patients
and ensure continual learning sits at the heart of healthcare in
The programme, coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improving
Quality (NHS IQ), will be the largest and most comprehensive of its
kind in the world.
A network of 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives are being
established, each led by an Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).
They will focus on improving safety and empowering patients, carers
and staff to highlight, challenge and implement local improvements
in patient care. AHSNs provide a unique combination of NHS,
academia, third sector and industry partners and work across
defined geographical areas.
The collaboratives will bring together patients, healthcare
staff and other partners from across the health and care economy to
determine their local patient safety priorities and to develop and
implement solutions to these problems. Some of the issues that the
Collaboratives may tackle on a 'whole patient pathway' basis
include reducing infections, pressure ulcers, medication safety
,falls and problems with patient transfers and discharge,.
NHS IQ and NHS England will work nationally with the AHSNs to
provide support and opportunities for the Collaboratives to learn
from each other, ensuring the most effective and successful
solutions are rapidly spread and adopted across England.
Each Collaborative will be funded for the next five years by NHS
England and will support individuals, teams and organisations to
build skills and knowledge about patient safety and quality
improvement to create space and time to work on the challenges, and
provide opportunities to learn from each other.
The programme is borne out of Professor Don Berwick's report
last year into the safety of patients in England and builds on
learning from the Francis and Winterbourne View recommendations.
A Promise to Learn - a commitment to act, made a series of
recommendations to improve patient safety, and called for the NHS
''to become, more than ever before, a system devoted to continual
learning and improvement of patient care, top to bottom and end to
Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England Director of Patient Safety, said:
"Having worked closely with Don Berwick and his advisory group it
is fantastic to see the collaboratives about to begin work on what
will be the biggest patient safety initiative in the history of the
NHS. They will invigorate Don Berwick's vision of bringing people
together at every level, from the patient to the surgeon and the GP
to the chief executive, to rapidly accelerate safety improvements
in every healthcare setting on both a local and national
Steve Fairman, NHS Improving Quality Managing Director, added:
"Within NHS Improving Quality we have the knowledge, skills and
expertise of collaborative working from previous successful
clinical collaboratives. This will be powerful when combined with
the specialist knowledge on safety priority improvements in NHS
England and the local dimension brought by the AHSNs to this work.
We look forward to working with and supporting them to share the
learning and good practice nationally.
Dr Chris Streather, Managing Director Health Innovation Network
(AHSN for South London) said "We have a pretty unique combination
of skills and expertise that will help us move patient safety
forward in a way we've not achieved before"
We also know that keeping bureaucracy to the minimum, focusing
on local needs and practicalities and creating learning
environments that promote safety, will be vital if these
Collaboratives are to succeed and create a real culture shift
throughout our health and care system."
Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive, North West Coast AHSN added,
'Leadership, culture and how we measure achievements will underpin
the programme. Another important factor will be training and
equipping our staff to maintain a continual focus on safety
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: "We have focused
unprecedented attention on improving patient safety in the NHS, but
there's always more to do and these collaboratives will help drive
standards even higher. The collaboratives also support our Sign up
to Safety campaign, which sets out our ambition to halve avoidable
harm over the next three years and save up to 6,000 lives. "
The programme is aligned with and supports the 'Sign up to
Safety' campaign to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in
the world by creating the culture to support a system devoted to
continuous learning and improvement.
Delegate pack from the launch event