Andrea McGuinness – A reflection on Safety

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Sep 18 2019 Blogs

For a long time now we have recognised that most of us working in health and care systems know what is right and good and we try extremely hard to do the right thing for every person every day.

We don’t plan to harm patients and families, or make our colleagues working lives harder than they already are. At AQuA we realised early on that health and care staff already know a lot about the best practice, the best evidence and the best advice to deliver support and care. What was and is still missing from the world of safety is that we don’t understand is why we aren’t able to do the right thing every time for everyone.

This led us to focus on human factors, psychological safety, culture and leadership for safety as the essential underpinning structures for safety improvement.  Of course we share new ideas, learning and great examples of clinical and service safety improvements and alongside we also have been working hard to understand the challenges that cause these tensions between how we want to work and how we have to work.

Our exposure and training on appreciative approaches, safety II thinking and learning from what goes well has encouraged us to support safety improvement with a positive and supportive approach, asking how do we replicate success and share this so others can too. We don’t in anyway underestimate the impact of harm on patients, families and staff across our systems and we are 100% committed to working to see safer services with demonstrable and replicable results for everyone.

For more information on how AQuA can support your organisation to deliver the NHS Patient Safety Strategy – read our latest publication or contact us on

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