Patient safety is the avoidance of unintended or unexpected harm to people during the provision of health care. Patients should be treated in a safe environment and protected from avoidable harm. Patient safety is there to minimise the risk and impact of incidents occurring and to drive improvements in safety and quality.
The NHS Patient Safety Strategy describes how the NHS will continuously improve patient safety, building on the foundations of a safer culture and safer systems.
Patient Safety Partners
Patient Safety Partners are new and exciting roles in the NHS that aim to empower patients and carers. They will work alongside NHS staff to improve safety in our health and care settings.
In June 2021, the new ‘Framework for Involving Patients in Patient Safety’ was published by NHS England. This framework sets out approaches and standards that help to make a positive difference to how patient safety is viewed and managed in the NHS.
A key part of the framework introduces Patient Safety Partners; empowering patients and their carers to be involved in their own safety, as well as being partners alongside staff in improving patient safety in NHS organisations.
The main role of the Patient Safety Partner is to ensure that the patient voice is heard within organisations, with the core purpose of improving safety and quality.
More information about Patient Safety Partners can be found on the Patient Safety Partners page on the NHS England website.
LPFT Board of Directors’ Patient Safety Partner Declaration 2023
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Board of Directors takes their responsibility for providing safe high-quality care very seriously.
One of the key aspects of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy (2019) that all Trusts are obliged to implement is involvement - the equipping of patients, carers, staff and partners with the skills and opportunities to improve patient safety throughout the whole system. The strategy includes the ambition for all safety-related clinical governance committees (or equivalents) in NHS organisations to include two Patient Safety Partners (PSPs).
This ambition is supported by Part B of the national framework for involving patients in patient safety (2021), which describes how organisations should support Patient Safety Partners to be involved in wider governance and leadership of safety activities.
The Trust is therefore making a declaration of commitment to the implementation of Patient Safety Partners within LPFT to include the below.
- To have two PSPs on our safety and experience related committees by August 2023 and elsewhere as appropriate.
- To value and promote diversity and equality of opportunity for all, recognising the importance of those with lived experience as a patient or carer, who come from diverse backgrounds or have protected characteristics.
- To have the PSPs working alongside staff, patients, carers, service users and families to provide an independent view of what it feels like to receive care, helping to influence and improve safety within our services.
- To have the PSPs attending committees or groups to ensure we consider and prioritise the patient, carer and family perspective and champion a diversity of views.
- To value the input of PSPs and ensure their opinion is viewed equally.
Roles for PSPs can include:
- Membership of safety and quality committees whose responsibilities include the review and analysis of safety data
- Involvement in patient safety improvement projects
- Working with organisation boards to consider how to improve safety
- Involvement in staff patient safety training
- Participation in investigation oversight groups.
Information about our PSPs and the work they will be undertaking will be shared in future correspondence once they become embedded within the Trust.
Meet our patient safety partners
Hi I’m Regan and I am really looking forward to starting my role as a Patient Safety Partner at LPFT.
I feel this role brings a platform for people who have experienced mental health issues and know what it’s like to have been under care in the NHS.
I myself have experienced both of these in the past. My role is to note the positives of the system, but also to highlight any areas that need improvement, and most importantly, make sure the patients and their families have the upmost importance throughout care.
My personal experience has profoundly shaped my understanding of the importance of receiving the correct care and support within the healthcare system.
I believe that every individual deserves access to high-quality, person-centred care and support. I am committed to contributing to the improvement of the healthcare system, and look forward to ensuring that the perspectives of patients, caregivers, and families are considered and prioritised within committees and groups to enable positive change for the patient experience.