Patient safety framework welcome but will take time and resources to fully implement

16 August 2022

Commenting on the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework, interim deputy chief executive and director of policy and strategy of NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said: "Securing better patient safety and outcomes is a top priority for trust leaders and so we welcome this comprehensive framework, which will help ensure that investigation processes and responses by trusts lead to effective learning and improvement.

"This framework has key differences from its predecessor, the Serious Incident Framework, including making better use of data, supporting appropriate patient safety training where it is needed, and focusing work into areas in which the most impact may be achieved. It's good to see a renewed focus on avoiding a blame culture to one that is just and recognises wider systemic failings, and the commitment to giving trusts autonomy to target resources on investigations leading to organisational learning and improvements.

"The use of early adopter organisations since 2020, including several trusts, will help ensure that this framework will be a useful and meaningful tool. Given operational pressures trusts are currently facing, it's welcome that flexibility has been built into the implementation process, with a 12-month timeline starting next month.

"However, implementation will be challenging without a bolstered workforce and adequate time for staff to attend training. This is yet another example of why we urgently need to see a fully costed and funded workforce plan. Beyond staffing, national bodies must remain engaged with trusts to understand the challenges they face and the risks they manage, and to ensure that trusts have the necessary resources, capacity and time required to ensure that this framework is properly embedded."

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