CAN YOU BE A CHAMPION FOR PATIENT SAFETY National Patient by sdfsb346f


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									                                                    National Patient
                                                     Safety Agency

             CAN YOU BE A ‘CHAMPION’
               FOR PATIENT SAFETY?
We are looking for existing or potential patients - especially those who
have experienced things going wrong - who are prepared to volunteer a
little of their time to work with NHS staff to help improve patient safety.
Although we are fortunate to have an NHS and a workforce in which we
can be proud, things can and do go wrong in healthcare, resulting in
significant avoidable harm or even death. We believe that patients have
unique perspectives and experience which will be an asset to NHS work
on improving safety. The patient safety ‘champions’ we are recruiting
will champion the cause of patient safety and of patients’ role in
improving it.

                          This leaflet tells you more about why the project is needed,
                                what is expected of patient safety ‘champions’,
                                              and how to get involved.
In this country, we are fortunate in many ways with our healthcare
system. It is affordable and accessible to all; it is staffed by skilled
and dedicated professionals; and anybody who falls ill can
reasonably expect a high standard of care.

However, healthcare relies on a range of complex interactions
between people, skills, technologies and drugs. Sometimes things
can - and do - go wrong.

Based on the best available research, it is estimated that one in ten
patients admitted to hospitals in developed countries will be
unintentionally the victim of an error. Around 50% of these events
could have been avoided, if lessons from previous incidents had been
learned. In short, the same errors and system failures are often
repeated causing harm or even death to thousands of patients each
year. As well as the human cost, there is a huge financial cost to the
NHS resulting from such incidents.

In December 2006 the Department of Health published ‘Safety First’,
a high profile report with 14 specific recommendations for
improving patient safety. This project takes forward one of them,
reommendation 13:

‘The active involvement of patients and their families should be
promoted by establishing a national network of patient champions
who will work in partnership with NHS organisations and other key
players to improve patient safety; the network should also have strong
links with WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety’s ‘Patients for Patient
Safety’ initiative’.

The project is being run in partnership between the National Patient
Safety Agency, which is part of the NHS, and the independent
charity, Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), which promotes
patient safety and justice. The project is linked to the World Health
Organisation’s World Alliance for Patient Safety’s ‘Patients for Patient
Safety’ Project.
        Why involve patients and families?

Consumers of healthcare are at the heart of patient safety. When
things go wrong, they and their families suffer from the harm caused.
Such harm is often made worse by the defensive and
secretive way that many healthcare organisations respond in the
aftermath of a serious event.

Around the world, healthcare organisations that are most successful
in improving patient safety are those that encourage close
co-operation with patients and their families. Patients and their
families have a unique perspective on their experience of healthcare
and may provide information and insights that healthcare
workers may not otherwise have known. People who have been
affected by medical errors are often able to point to how
organisations’ response to errors could be improved, and to
communicate the human impact of errors and their aftermath.

Partnership must be a key theme; patients, health professionals,
policymakers and healthcare leaders should be working together to
prevent avoidable harm in healthcare. A particular focus is to
challenge the current culture of denial.

                 What is expected of
             patient safety ‘champions’?

This is a new initiative and the champions will be at the fore of
developing and defining how they can best work in partnership with
the NHS to improve safety. This can be working with NHS
organisations locally, regionally or at a national level. Champions will
be part of a national network, informing and supporting each other.
Each champion will take part in an initial induction
programme, have further opportunities for training and will be
supported by staff dedicated to this project. The role is voluntary, but
out-of-pocket expenses will be paid.

Champions will have a passion for patient safety, perhaps gained as
a result of their own or their family’s experience of medical harm, or
through their experience as a patient activist.               We are
seeking to recruit champions from diverse backgrounds and from all
regions of England and Wales. A more detailed role description is
available on request.
                       Who is responsible for the project?

Action against Medical Accidents (‘AvMA’) is managing the project, in partnership with the National
Patient Safety Agency (NPSA).

AvMA is an independent charity which promotes patient safety and justice for people when things
go wrong in healthcare. AvMA provides advice and support to people who have been affected by
medical accidents and works with the NHS and other bodies to ensure lessons are learnt to
improve safety and to develop fairer systems of investigating and responding to such incidents.

NPSA is part of the NHS, established in 2001 with the mandate to identify patient safety issues and
find appropriate solutions. NPSA is also responsible for the National Clinical Assessment Service;
National Research Ethics Service; and National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide
(NCISH); Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH); and the National
Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD).

                            Interested in getting involved?

     For further information visit, e-mail:,
          write to Patients for Patient Safety, AvMA, 44 High Street, Croydon CR0 1YB,
                                    or telephone 020 8688 9555.

              AvMA is registered as a charity in England (number 299123) and as a company limited by
                guarantee (number 2239250). Registered office: 44 High Street, Croydon, CR0 1YB

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