An update from Patient Safety Learning

  • 3rd September 2018
Conference Blog

An update from Patient Safety Learning

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we held our Patient Safety Learning launch event at the Kings Fund in September 2017. Things have certainly been busy since then. Our team has grown - we now have our new Chief Executive Helen Hughes, who brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion, a new Chief Digital officer, Clive Flashman who is leading the development of one of our biggest projects, a new patient safety learning platform. This brings our core team to 5 but we’re working with a number of other experts, include Dr Carl Macrea on a part time basis and we’ll shortly recruiting to expand our team further.

Some organisational changes

Patient Safety Learning is an independent organisation. It was only possible to found our new organisation with the generous support of Datix but we are now set up with philanthropic funding and in future will source resources from foundations, grants and delivering paid for services.

We are delighted to have secured the support of some fantastic Trustees for Patient Safety Learning in addition to our Steering Group. We have submitted our charity application and as an independent organisation will be governed by our Board of Trustees. We will be announcing more details soon.

What has been happening in the last 12 months?

As well as growing our team, we’ve been making progress in a number of key areas:

We have launched our first ever awards scheme. Earlier this month we hosted an independent judging day. The quality of submissions was very high and we’re looking forward to announcing the winners and runners up at our conference.

We have undertaken considerable work progressing the design of a new, digital platform to help healthcare organisation share patient safety learning and knowledge. This work has involved a great deal of engagement, including a workshop held earlier this year and a series of 1 to 1 meetings and discussions with patients, healthcare professionals and risk managers. We’re in the process of selecting a vendor to develop this platform and we’ll be sharing more information about this soon.

As well as these projects, we’ve been progressing our green paper – a thought paper which sets out our views about where patient safety is today, what a vision for a patient-safe future might look like and what changes could help us move closer towards this. We’ll be publishing our green paper as a consultation in September, seeking as many views as possible to help us make sure our work is focused in the areas most likely to make a difference and to shape our key messages to others.

Our first conference

We’ve been working hard to plan and prepare our first annual conference, which is talking place on 26th September 2018 at the Kings Fund in London.

The day will start with a talk from Margaret Murphy reflecting on the preventable loss of her son, Kevin. Margaret is an inspirational person and speaker and Kevin’s story is hugely powerful and important. Margaret’s talk is followed by a key note speech from Prof Sir Liam Donaldson. Sir Liam is rightly regarded by many of one of the founding fathers of the patient safety movement here in the UK and globally. His report ‘An organisation with a memory’, published in 2001, is still profoundly relevant today.

After a tea/coffee break, we’ll then move to a session focusing on maternity safety. Sascha Wells and Prof Tim Draycott will be talking about the improvement journey at Morecambe Bay and what further changes are needed to improve the safety of our maternity services nationally. We’ll then be hearing from Keith Conradi, the Chief Executive of the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB) about the learning from HSIB’s first year of work.

We’ll then break for lunch. During the lunch break we’re very excited to confirm that we’ll be showing the first ever public screening of a new short film produced by Sidney Dekker, titled ‘The Complexity of Failure’. This moving and thought provoking film resonates closely with the themes of the day; why we need to respond to harm in healthcare with a focus on deep understanding and compassion, with an emphasis on learning and not blame.

After lunch two inspirational doctors, Maryanne Maryaselvam and Peter Young will be talking about improving patient safety through innovation, including an overview of some of the innovations they have led and developed and the challenges and barriers to wider spread and adoption.

Patient Safety Learning will then give a talk about the next steps for patient safety and will present a summary of the green paper consultation. This will be followed by an interactive panel session and discussion.

We’ll then announce the winners and runners up of our Patient Safety Learning awards scheme and hear from the winning submissions about their work before the final key note speech.

Here we have a change to the advertised programme (for obvious reasons given recent government changes), Jeremy Hunt will no longer be giving the final key note talk but we are thrilled to confirm that Dr Bill Kirkup will be taking his place. Bill will be talking about the collective learning and themes from various high profile inquires he has either chaired or been closely involved in in recent years and what the key take home messages are for all of us working in healthcare.

There’ll then be a drinks reception and a chance to chat and network with other attendees and speakers.

If you’d like to come to the conference, there are still tickets available – please click here for further details of how to register.

Best Wishes,

The Patient Safety Learning Team


A platform for anyone with an interest in patient safety to share and learn from one another. Learn more.

Sign up to our newsletter