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National Patient Safety Syllabus

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The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have published the first National patient safety syllabus that will underpin the development of curricula for all NHS staff as part of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy:


Via the above link you can access a ‘key points’ document which provides some of the context for the syllabus and answers to some frequently asked questions. AOMRC are inviting key stakeholders to review this iteration of the syllabus (1.0) and provide feedback via completing the online survey or e-mailing Rose Jarvis before 28 February 2020. 

I would be interested to hear people's thoughts and feedback and any comments which people are happy to share which they've submitted via the online survey


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Hi Jon, thanks for kicking this off.
We’re going to be sharing a blog on this shortly and to help inform discussions. I met briefly with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on this yesterday so have some insight to contribute. Btw the consultation response is limited to 500 characters as they want themes not detailed comments. Personally I don’t think this is appropriate stakeholder engagement and consultation on such a vital contribute to patient safety. 

Patient Safety Learning will update and tweet soon.

@Sue Hignett Definitely one for you to review 


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The 500 character limit is excessively restrictive in my opinion for something which is supposed to be a key driver for achieving a step change in patient safety across the NHS. There is the facility to send comments via e-mail which I have done instead.

I've reproduced my feedback below in case it is of interest to others. Overall, I think what is there is good but it seems to be missing some key elements in terms of supporting the kind of changes described in the national patient safety strategy:


"Positive aspects:

- The syllabus focuses on the role of organisational culture and its impact on patient safety

- The inclusion of hierarchy of control when thinking about interventions to make services safer

- It refers to proactive risk management rather than simply reacting when things have gone wrong, however, this element needs to be strengthened (see below)

- There is a strong focus on systems, human factors and just culture when investigating incidents in order to promote learning and move away from a blame culture.

Areas for development:

- The syllabus does not mention Safety II or associated key concepts such as difference between work as imagined and work as done

- The syllabus builds on and reinforces what we already have in place within the NHS rather than setting out a step change

- It needs to describe more of how we would learn from things which go well (learning from excellence) and day to day work rather than focusing simply on accidents and incidents where things have gone wrong, i.e. via utilising techniques from Safety II.

- No mention of appreciative enquiry, quality improvement methodology or other methodologies which could be used to deliver improvements which can enhance safety of services. This would be an important part of a proactive focus when it comes to safety

Overall I think Safety II and quality improvement are key elements for inclusion in a patient safety syllabus and should be included to reinforce the direction of travel set out in national patient safety strategy"

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Patient Safety Learning has now drafted a submission to national patient safety syllabus consultation, which is available through the below link.

Please do take a look and provide any feedback before Friday 28 February, which is the deadline for our finalised submission.


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Looking forward to viewing how the syllabus is implemented and agree with Jon Holt's comments about safety II.


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