NHSE/I publish update to Patient Safety Strategy

NHSE/I publish update to Patient Safety Strategy

NHS England and Improvement have published an update to their joint paper The NHS Patient Safety Strategy. The strategy which was first published in June 2019 set out the NHS’s strategy for achieving its vision of continuously improve patient safety.

Fundamentally, the strategy set out a new framework to enable a culture transition from blame to learning. It envisioned an approach where patient safety initiatives and responses are primarily based on what can be learned rather than who should be held accountable. Underscored by the principles of insight, involvement and improvement, the strategy recognised that there is no endpoint when it comes to safety.

When the strategy was first launched in 2019, NHSE/I committed to periodic updates of the strategy to ensure it retained relevance in ever changing healthcare landscape. While the principles and high-level objectives of the strategy remain unchanged, the 2021 update recognises the need for some shift in scope of the overall strategy.

The most significant strategy update is the new commitment to address patient safety inequalities, with a new objective added to the safety system strand of the strategy. There has also been a review of the implementation of all other objectives to identify what more we can do to reduce inequalities.

Another change is a revision to several of the original strategy timelines to reflect the disruption and uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some uncertainty continues and the new timelines are based on assumptions about colleague and service capacity to implement new initiatives in 2021 and beyond.

As part of the update to the strategy, there will be the creation a dedicated space to share insight on safety culture indicators and offer guidance on how to identify and address culture issues, helping to translate the high-level objectives for the safety culture and safety system strands of the strategy into more tangible deliverables.

A link to updated strategy can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-patient-safety-strategy-2021-update/

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The Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network is supported by the following organisations.

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