‘Safety for All’ white paper published

‘Safety for All’ white paper published

The ‘Safety for All’ white paper is published today. The primary aim of the paper is to prioritise improvement in both patient and healthcare worker safety.

Following the unprecedented impact and strain that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on the NHS and social care, both the public and the healthcare sector believe politicians must prioritise the improvement of both patient and healthcare worker safety.

The white paper, Patient and Healthcare Worker Safety – Two sides of the same coin’, is published today by the Safety for All campaign, set up by the Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network (SHBN), including Patient Safety Learning and the Association of British HealthTech Industries. It sets out the symbiotic relationship between healthcare worker safety and patient safety and that you cannot have one without the other. The pandemic has shone a light on the interconnection of these two issues, from the importance of effective infection control to ensuring healthcare professionals feel safe to speak up about incidents of unsafe care. This white paper makes the case for a new focus and priority for improvements in, and between, patient and healthcare worker safety to prevent safety incidents and deliver better outcomes for all. 

Dean Russell MP, a member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, said: “The NHS estimates that there are 11,000 avoidable deaths in the UK each year due to patient safety incidents. We must look at the issue of patient safety holistically. If we can change our approach then then we can reduce the number of serious safety incidents. Also, if we ensure, in the transition back to normality following the pandemic, that the safety of healthcare workers is a priority this will also impact positively on patient safety.”

Jonathan Hazan, chair of Patient Safety Learning, said: “I welcome the publication of the Safety for All white paper with its focus on the relationship between patient safety and staff safety. At Patient Safety learning, we have always understood that improvements in one area reinforce safety in the other.”

Mike Fairbourn, Board Member of the Association of British HealthTech Industries, said: “There needs to be a better understanding and advocacy of the mutual benefits to be accrued for patient safety by improving healthcare worker safety, and vice versa. Safety needs to be a core purpose for both the NHS and social care and for patient and workplace safety, with greater support for staff and for them to speak up following patient safety incidents.”


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

  • UK HSA
  • Boston Scientific
  • Stryker
  • Unison
  • RCN
  • phs
  • NHS Wales
  • NHS Supply Chain
  • NHS Resolution
  • NHS Improvement
  • NHS England
  • NHS Employers
  • NHS Confederation
  • iosh
  • HSE
  • CQC
  • BMA
  • BDIA
  • BDA
  • ABHI