About the Safety for All Campaign
In 2021, the Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network launched the Safety For All Campaign to shine a light on the symbiotic relationship and benefits of integrating the approach to deliver Healthcare Worker Safety and Patient Safety and that you cannot have one without the other.
There is an emerging consensus from health professionals and academics that one of the most effective ways to continue to make advances in Patient Safety is by strengthening the Healthcare Worker Safety agenda and integrating the two approaches and ending up with one holistic approach. Simply put, if a healthcare worker does not have effective protection for their own health and safety then patients are not safe and are more likely to suffer health impacts as a result.
Indeed, the 2020 World Patient Safety Day saw the World Health Organisation formally recognise the interdependence between Healtcare Worker Safety and Patient Safety and the debt owed to healthcare workers, making the day’s official theme, “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety”.
The Campaign is focused on driving awareness of this interrelationship between Healthcare Worker Safety and Patient Safety, highlighting how poor Healthcare Worker Safety standards and practice impact adversely on Patient Safety and championing the need for a systematic and integrated approach to improve safety practice in both Healthcare Worker Safety and Patient Safety so that the sum is greater than the parts.
The Campaign is calling on the government and leaders in the Health and Social Care sector to recognise that Patient Safety is to some degree dependent on the delivery of effective Healthcare Worker Safety (and vice versa) and to implement nationwide standards, practice and structures on patient safety culture which take account and where possible align and combine both Patient Safety and Healthcare Worker Safety.
Patient Safety is one of the NHS’s biggest challenges, with research indicating that there are still 11,000 avoidable deaths in the UK each year because of patient safety incidents.
Patient Safety incidents cause untold physical and emotional damage for those involved and are estimated to cost the NHS £5 billion a year. And poor Healthcare Worker Safety standards not only costs the NHS money in the impact on workers, patients and resources generally but also has an adverse impact on staff recruitment and retention.
Up to 70% of Patient Safety events are preventable, meaning that with the correct structures and procedures in place many thousands of lives could be saved each year.
Patient Safety challenges have been well documented with the former Secretary of State and now Health and Social Care Select Committee Chair Jeremy Hunt MP championing the need for improved Patient Safety standards.
Progress in recent years has been poor but the Government has now committed to appointing a new Patient Safety Commissioner for England, and the pandemic has demonstrated the impact on PS of poor HCWS.
Safety for All is designed to ensure that Healthcare Worker Safety is included in the wider Patient Safety debate, not as a junior partner but as part of the solution.
The Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network is supported by the following organisations.