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Creating a space to discuss leadership and safety – how can we maximise this opportunity


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My first thought on coming to this community was, is it a bit abstract to be talking about leadership in a sub-community of a patient safety learning platform, when in the real world leadership is part of, or influences so many of the other sub-communities (culture, patient engagement, patient safety learning itself, to name but a few). However, I can definitely see the value in creating a special space to explore and stimulate some cross-fertilisation of ideas and learning on leadership for patient safety. It would be great to get some ideas flowing on how patient safety leaders across all levels of health care could use this community. I’ve found that leadership in the academic literature is sometimes a little vague, it’s common to see “leadership is critical for [X-aspect of] patient safety” written in various ways, but when you try and drill down on concrete examples of what that means it can be frustratingly non-specific. Could we start by stimulating some sharing of tangible real-world examples or vignettes that describe how leadership/leadership development is linked to making care safer or addressing a patient safety-related problem. This may mean infiltrating or drawing on some of the parallel discussions in other sub-forums and seeding the leadership angle into these discussions!


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Hi Jules - - great of you to try and focus this section of the community. Do you think its necessary or important here to define what we mean by leadership? Are we discussing "executives and decision makers" per se or any individual that embodies what leadership is about? 

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Great point. Interested to hear others thoughts. Sitting here in the Patient Safety Learning conference today it’s clear we need both - exec leadership is critical for a safety culture (and this is of course backed up by studies), but growing acknowledgement of the importance of distributed leadership & role modelling and empowerment at different levels of a health system. 

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I am also really interested in this topic. Whilst exec leadership is important I am interested in how we get leadership throughout the organisation for patient safety. For example if a junior doctor is doing a treatment list with an HCA then they will be leading that process. we are looking at how we embed leadership for safety within other training eg using simulation training. How are other people doing this?


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