An adverse clinical event, patient safety incident or medical error can have a far-reaching impact not only for the patient and their families, the 'first victims', but also the healthcare professionals involved. These are sometimes referred to as ‘second victims’. Often there are few opportunities for second victim healthcare professionals to discuss the details of incidents or events and share how this has affected them personally. The East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative (EMPSC) funded the University of Leicester as part of their National Safety Culture workstream to develop a Second Victim Support Unit within the Children’s Hospital at University Hospitals Leicester to test whether models of support established in the US could be successfully transferred to UK health settings.
The pilot included five key elements:
- Conducting semi-structured interviews with a sample of clinical and non-clinical staff who had been directly involved in a patient safety incident, adverse event or medical error in University Hospitals Leicester and Nottingham University Hospital to explore the impact this had on them and the type of support they would have liked to receive. These were transcribed and thematically analysed to identify core themes.
- Developing a three-tier second victim support programme and including training peer supporters (tier 2).
- Piloting of the model.
- Evaluating the pilot by interviewing staff who had accessed the peer support.
- A final report which included recommendations based on findings from the scoping project.
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