Safety For All Conference 2022 – Summary
The inaugural Safety For All conference was held at the Royal College of Physicians on 7th December 2022. The conference brought together a wide range of attendees including academics, frontline staff, patient safety experts and occupational health professionals. The conference was hosted by the Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network and Patient Safety Learning as part of the Safety For All campaign, supported by B.Braun, BD, Edwards Lifesciences and Stryker.
The Safety For All campaign is calling for improvements in, and between, patient and healthcare worker safety to prevent safety incidents and deliver better outcomes for all. The campaign argues that patient safety and healthcare worker safety are synergistic, symbiotic and interrelated – they are two sides of the same coin.
Over 100 delegates attended the first Safety For All conference and had the chance to hear from four keynote speakers: John Dean, clinical vice president (CVP) at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), Dr Henrietta Hughes, Patient Safety Commissioner, Patricia Marquis, Director of England at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Dr Lesley Kay, Deputy Medical Director at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). There were also four panel sessions and two presentations throughout the day with interesting discussions taking place between speakers and delegates.
The conference was opened by Co-Chair Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning who explained the motivations of the Safety For All campaign and thanked the delegates in the room for attending. She introduced John Dean who gave the opening keynote address in which he explained the work done by the RCP to improve patient and staff safety. New Patient Safety Commissioner Dr Henrietta Hughes then addressed delegates and spoke about the importance of ensuring the patient voice is heard and how patient partnership is crucial for improving patient safety. Patricia Marquis discussed the stress that nursing staff are currently under and how protecting healthcare workers will improve their safety as well as the safety of patients.
The first panel session focussed on the need for patients and families to be considered as part of the team that provides safe care. It was chaired by Helen Hughes and featured Jono Broad, a patient campaigner, Professor Tony Woolf, Louise Pye from HSIB and Jane O’Hara, an academic. This was followed by a presentation on the risks posed by extravasation to patients given by Andrew Barton, Chair of NICAS and IC nurse consultant.
The second panel session focussed on improving staff safety beyond Covid-19. Panellists included Rose Gallagher and Leona Cameron from the RCN, Stewart Crowe and Neal Jones from Liverpool University Hospitals and John Dean from the RCP. They discussed how best to implement workplace health and safety standards and ensure that legislation is complied with in practice.
After lunch, Co-Chair Ian Lindsley of the SHBN opened the afternoon session. Dr Lesley Kay from HSIB gave her keynote address discussing the value of learning and the education programme which HSIB run. This was followed by a presentation from Lisa Nealen, Peri-operative Practitioner at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation Trust, Newcastle. Her presentation was on creating a safe environment in hospital theatres and she informed delegates of best practice and how to spread that across the NHS.
The third panel session of the day centred around a report published as part of the Safety For All campaign called Mind the implementation gap: The persistence of avoidable harm in the NHS. The session was chaired by Ian Lindsley and the panellists Keith Conradi, former chief investigator at HSIB, Claire Cox, Patient Safety Lead and Helen Hughes discussed why avoidable harm continues to persist in healthcare and how to tackle the implementation gap.
The final panel session centred around the topic of preventing workplace stress. Kim Sunley, RCN and Co-Chair of NHS Staff Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group, Carol Menashy, Founder of SISOS and Martin McMahon from the HSE considered the reasons for workplace stress and how to prevent it. Carol gave an impassioned explanation of the SISOS programme and called for similar approaches across all NHS hospitals.
The aim of the conference to discuss and increase awareness of patient and healthcare worker safety with key stakeholders was a success, the delegates were engaged and supportive of the work of the campaign.