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  • The hub 3 years on: celebrating our achievements

    Patient Safety Learning
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    Three years since we launched the hub, our award-winning platform to share learning for patient safety, we have seen it grow in members, content and impact. To date, the hub has received over 565,000 visits and had over 1 million page views. It now has over 3,400 members from 80 countries working in over 1,000 different organisations, and offers 7,500 knowledge resources, viewed by people from 221 countries. We continue to highlight serious patient safety issues, celebrate patient safety achievements, provide ‘how to’ resources on good practice and offer a safe space for staff and patients to share their experiences and discuss challenges.

    In this blog, we would like to celebrate just some of the work we are especially proud of and highlight where we’ve been making the case for change and the many ways the hub is making an impact.


    Collaboration and sharing

    We are delighted to have worked with many organisations over the last three years to share and promote patient safety resources and good practice on the hub.

    One such examples is our work with Parkinson’s UK. After sharing Parkinson’s UK’s ‘Get it on Time’ campaign on the hub, we collaborated with them to produce a series of blogs on:

    "I just wanted to say a HUGE thanks for reaching out and for your support for our Get It On Time campaign. There's been a fantastic reaction and it's great to get some profile for this… This will really help us to refocus our campaign and build momentum again."

    Another organisation we have worked with is the charity Long Covid Support. Last month, the Office for National Statistics estimated that around 430,000 people in the UK were living with one or more symptoms of Long Covid but we keep hearing about the lack of support people with Long Covid are receiving. We have used the community area of the hub to ask questions such as where and how patients are accessing Long Covid clinics and the services they have received. In one of our Long Covid community threads, hub members shared their stories on difficulties accessing Long Covid clinics with over 40 replies and 11, 000 views. Informed by discussions with Long Covid Support and the experiences shared with us by people living with Long Covid, we have highlighted some of the key safety issues around this.

    "We are so grateful for your help, support and using your platform to echo our concerns and call for help." Sophie Evans, Long Covid Support.

    As well as sharing good practice and promoting campaigns, we also want to highlight where there are gaps in communication, information or policy. Sarah de Malplaquet drew our attention to neonatal herpes in a blog ‘More common than you think’ and also shared the heart breaking account of how her son died at just 13 days old from a missed herpes diagnosis. Sarah set up the Kit Tarka Foundation and we have shared many of their resources on the hub.

    Through our work we also seek to highlight and amplify important patient safety resources and policies published by other organisations.  For example, most recently we shared the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA)'s new report, Safer care for all – Solutions from professional regulation and beyond, which examines the current state of professional health and care regulation in the UK. PSA's chief executive, Alan Clamp, followed this up in a blog for the hub with his own reflections on the report and we also shared our views on the report from a patient safety perspective. 

    Increasingly the hub is also being used to share people’s patient safety successes, challenges and achievements globally. Our topic leader Ehi Iden regularly writes blogs for the hub on patient and staff safety in Africa and earlier this year Yakob Seman Ahmed, former Director General for Medical services in Ethiopia, wrote a blog on the challenges facing Ethiopia. Our fortnightly Patient Safety Spotlight series is where we talk to people about their role and what motivates them to make health and social care safer, and has included interviews with Soojin Jun, Co-founder of Patients for Patient Safety US, and Josie Gilday, Global Medical Adviser at Save the Children International, to name just two. Read all our Patient Safety Spotlight interviews here and look out for some exciting and inspiring interviews coming up soon!


    A safe space to share

    One of our greatest successes over the last 12 months has been seeing our community networks on the hub flourish. Last year Claire Cox together with a group of Patient Safety Managers founded the Patient Safety Management Network (PSMN). The PSMN is an informal voluntary network for patient safety managers. Created by and for patient safety managers, it provides a weekly drop-in session with guests to talk through issues of importance, offers peer support and creates a safe space for discussion. Patient Safety Learning provides tech and admin support for this group with BD also providing some set-up funding to help establish this.

    the hub allows the members of the network to post questions and share resources in a private area where staff feel safe to discuss issues and challenges. The need for a broad network for those working in patient safety in the UK has never been more evident, particularly with the implementation of the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF), a key part of the national patient safety strategy. The PSMN now has over 640 members.


    Some comments from PSMN members on what the network means to them:

    "I looooooove this group! Just lots of like minded people sharing ideas in a safe, informal space... thank you.”

    "Great discussions about After Action Reviews at the patient safety manager network meeting this afternoon! Really interesting, some great ideas and nice to hear about different trust's projects!"

    "The PSMN network has been a breath of fresh air, where people from many different provider settings and across the UK have come together to discuss patient safety and quality improvement, it’s been great to hear the varied views and consider how different settings do things differently.

    the hub also hosts a private community for the National NatSSIPs Network – a group of over 300 UK healthcare professionals involved in the implementation NatSSIPs/LocSSIPs in their organisation. If you are interested in joining one of the networks or would like to set up your own network on the hub, please do get in touch at info@pslhub.org.

    Patient engagement

    the hub not only brings healthcare professionals together but also provides a platform to help support patient campaigners to get their voices heard by those with the power to make changes that improve patient safety. We believe that patients should be engaged for safety at the point of care, if things go wrong, in improving services, advocating for changes and in holding the system to account. It is one of the six foundations of safe care we identify in our report, A Blueprint for Action. the hub allows individual patients, and patient groups which organise primarily through social media, to share their voice on another platform and reach wider audiences.

    Early on in our hub journey, we heard from the Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy about the high numbers of women experiencing painful hysteroscopies. This prompted us to start a new Community discussion on the hub, ‘Painful hysteroscopy’, asking members to share their experiences with us. This has been, by far, the most popular discussion on the hub. To date, there have been 242 comments made and the conversation itself has received over 47,000 page views, with people viewing the discussion daily.


    Other examples of patient groups and campaigners using the hub to get their voices heard include Kath Sansom, founder of Sling the Mesh, who has written many blogs for the hub. In a joint blog with Patient Safety Learning, Sling the Mesh highlighted the patient safety concerns related to the specialist mesh centres set up by the NHS to provide treatment and surgery for women who have been harmed by mesh, which has been used to inform meetings aimed at highlighting these issues at a parliamentary level with Baroness Julia Cumberlege. Working with Sling the Mesh we also jointly raised concerns of mesh harmed patients in a consultation response to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the new Mesh Complications Management Training Pathway. These issues were featured in a BMJ News article and prompted a formal response by RCOG on the concerns raised. Sling the Mesh members have also shared on the hub their experiences on the shocking comments they had received from doctors.

    We have also helped campaigners raise awareness of the health inequalities women experience, including the Five X More campaign to improve maternal mortality rates and health outcomes for black women and an interview with Sandre Igwe the founder of the Motherhood Group.

    More recently, Paul Sandells, a diabetes peer supporter and advocate and a volunteer for GBDoc, a diabetes community on Twitter, wrote about the challenges patients with diabetes face, with a blog on how peer support can make a difference to living with type 1 diabetes. And Patient Safety Learning's Lotty Tizzard reflects on feedback from Twitter users with diabetes on why they fear having to stay in hospital and asks what the NHS and its staff can do to make it a safer, less stressful environment.

    "Thank you for writing this blog. I think this is a hugely important issue and I'm delighted to see PSL bringing the subject to a wider audience.”

    We also encourage individuals to share their own personal experiences, not only in healthcare but also community and social care. The pandemic brought sweeping bans on visiting at thousands of hospitals and care homes and still now some care homes are still stopping family reunions months after Covid rules have eased. A hub member earlier this year shared her concerns on visiting restrictions and recounted her own personal experience on visiting her husband in a care home.

    Bringing attention to current safety and policy issues

    A key part of our policy, influencing and campaigning work at Patient Safety Learning is highlighting current patient safety concerns and challenges through responses to official reports and consultations, using our voice to help raise awareness of key issues and make the case for change. Some examples of this include:

    Earlier this year we also published a new report on the hub, ‘Mind the implementation Gap’, highlighting six specific policy areas in the UK where there is an implementation gap that prevents us translating patient safety learning into improvements.


    The recommendations of this report were highlighted and discussed in other publications such as the BMJ, British Journal of Hospital Medicine and National Voices newsletter.

    Another example is when we collaborated with doctor Clare Rayner on the safety implications of rejected GP referrals and lack of capacity in outpatient specialities. We called for the government and NHS leaders to investigate the problem and take action to mitigate risks to patient safety. This led to coverage of the blog and the issues raised in the HSJ, the Telegraph and iNews.

    More recently, along with the rest of the world, we marked World Patient Safety Day using the hub to highlight issues around this year’s theme on medication. We published a blog which set out the scale of avoidable harm in health and social care and the need for a transformation in our approach to patient safety, alongside a series of blogs collating useful hub medication safety-related resources.

    The future of the hub and how you can get involved

    How can I join the hub?

    If you’ve got an interest in patient safety and helping to reduce avoidable harm, sign up to the hub today and join our growing community. the hub is free and easy to join. Most importantly, it is helping to drive safer care. As a member you can share content, access thousands of patient safety resources and collaborate with other members, building up your patient safety network.

    “I’m finding it an invaluable resource. You have linked me with people I would not have met otherwise. It's great to share and learn together.” Steve Turner, Nurse Prescriber

    “As someone new to commissioning this was a very useful and timely piece to read. Thanks for signposting/highlighting!" A Clinical Quality Manager

    If you’re still unsure, read our 7 reasons to join our patient safety community. Already a member? Watch this short film for more practical tips on using the hub and maximising your membership. 

    How can I support the hub further?

    There are many ways you can support the hub and with your help we will continue to grow and improve ­the hub.

    Become a topic leader – our topic leaders are an integral part of ensuring the value of content on the hub. They are experts by profession or experience in their specific topic area and advise us, suggest areas to develop content in and lead discussions within our Communities. Find out more on how you can become a topic leader.

    Become a volunteer – Join our growing team of volunteers who help source, write and upload content to the hub. Find out more.

    Sponsorship – We are looking to scale up our activities through increased investment, part-funded by a number of strategic partnerships with different organisations. There are a number of ways that you or your company can sponsor the hub, these include:

    • Displaying your name or brand at the top of a Learn or Community space.
    • Funding a topic leader for a particular hub area.
    • Funding the use of polls several times a year to kickstart research into a particular topic.
    • Funding a webinar on a topic of your choice facilitated by our staff.
    • Adding your logo to one of our monthly newsletters with a section of content of your choice added to it.

    If you’d be interested in partnering with us please do contact us at hello@patientsafetylearning.org.

    Promote the hub – in your publications and newsletters, at meetings, and to your peers and colleagues.

    Over the year ahead, we will be looking to collaborate further with other organisations and grow our networks, both in the UK and internationally, so we can share patient safety ideas and initiatives globally. We will continue to raise awareness of patient safety issues on the hub. But the hub is a resource for everyone and we can’t do it without you. We want to hear your views on how we can improve it. Please take 5 minutes to complete our short survey below.

    Quarterly user feedback survey

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