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  • World Patient Safety Day webinar: Engaging patients for patient safety (15 September 2023)

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    This year’s World Patient Safety Day on Sunday 17 September 2023 focused on engaging patients for patient safety, in recognition of the crucial role that patients, families and caregivers play in the safety of healthcare. This webinar provided an opportunity for those involved in patient safety to hear from patient safety leaders and discuss the opportunities and barriers to increased patient engagement. It was co-hosted by the Patient Safety Commissioner for England and the charity Patient Safety Learning.


    The panellists for this webinar were:

    • Dr Henrietta Hughes, Patient Safety Commissioner for England
    • Jono Broad, Patient leader and a member of the South West Personalised Care Team
    • Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning
    • Tracey Hanson, Patient Safety Partner at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

    The session began with panellists sharing their reflections on the past year of patient engagement for patient safety, considering where there has been progress and what they see as the current barriers to that process. They then moved on to talk about what needs to happen in the next five years to ensure patients are effectively engaged for patient safety.

    The panel then discussed some questions posed by participants in the Microsoft Teams chat, including:

    • How can it be made simpler for patients to share their experiences and what support is available?
    • How can patients best engage and raise concerns around clinical guidance and good practice?
    • How best to approach seeing patients and family members as part of the multidisciplinary team? One participant highlighted that patients can often find this experience intimidating.

    Other comments made in the Microsoft Teams chat of this webinar included:

    • A bereaved parent stating that there still need to be dramatic improvements to patient safety and duty of candour for families.
    • Several participants raising concerns about recognition of patient safety concerns relating to thyroid conditions. There were specific concerns about access to Liothyronine (a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T3). There were also concerns raised about delays in diagnosis and dismissal of patients concerns.
    • Concerns about access to information for patients and carers and how digitisation may exclude some patients.
    • There was some discussion about the pros and cons of having patient representatives on the Boards of organisations and what is needed to make this work.
    • Concerns about how the Royal College of Gynaecologists has responded to issues raised by female patients in regards to avoidable harm during outpatient hysteroscopy procedures.
    • Concerns about the patient safety impact of industrial action by healthcare professionals.
    • A question was raised about support for a UK Sunshine Payments Act, increasing the transparency of financial relationships between health care providers and industry.
    • Concerns about the safety of 12 hour shifts.
    • Comments on the variation of roles and responsibilities of different Patient Safety Partners across organisations. 
    • Discussions about the roles, benefits and challenges of having Family Liaison Officers at healthcare organisations.
    • An issue was raised about whether the Women’s Health Strategy has received enough attention and focus from the NHS.
    • Concerns about the NHS being underfunded.
    • The benefits of using a restorative model of facilitation to avoid retraumatising patients, families and staff.
    • The importance of being able to check the accuracy of patient records of safety.
    • Issue of patients who have been harmed by PIP breast implants and the lack of attention their concerns have received.
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