As we come together for the first time globally as a community to think about World Patient Safety Day, I reflect on the last decade of attention AQuA has given to improving the reliability and experience of health care and the drive to reduce levels of harm.
I am mindful that as an organisation we have always identified patient safety as one of, if not the most important priority of our wide ranging programme of work and continue to place the fundamentals of ‘First Do No Harm’ right at the core of our thinking.
I am hugely grateful to all of the thousands of individuals and the many organisations AQuA works with, who strive constantly every day to make the NHS the safest place to both work and be cared for. Those of us seeing ourselves as part of the safety movement, now recognise how complex and broad the story of safety really is. We talk now of recognising safety from many perspectives and through multiple lens. We rightly consider both patient and staff safety; we question why we might still accept harm as somehow an ‘inevitability’ of health care. We see new technologies as important tools in the drive for high reliability in our systems; we are developing surveillance systems with measurement and monitoring that moves us toward avoidance of harm, through anticipation and preparedness rather than reactive after the event; we understand the impact and importance of Human Factors and fostering meaningful patient partnerships within co-created improvement programmes.
AQuA will continue to support its members and customers both in getting the basics right every day every patient, but also in shining light on beacons of excellence, sharing new thinking and building the skills and capacity at individual, team, organisation and system level until we can all collectively truly say we are ‘Safety Champions’, warriors, ensuring that our NHS is the best it can be for us, our families and friends and for the millions who rely on it every day.
Lesley Massey, Chief Executive
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