Supporting staff in the wake of patient safety incidents is vital

14 January 2021

Responding to HSIB's National learning report: Support for staff following patient safety incidents, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"We welcome today's report, which provides much-needed guidance for organisations developing, or building on existing, support programmes for staff in the wake of patient safety incidents.

"It makes the case for proactive, structured, well-resourced and system-wide support both before and after safety incidents, and highlights the key role of learning and improvement as well as culture and leadership.

"Staff wellbeing is the top priority of trust leaders. In our recent survey, we found 99% of trust leaders are concerned, or very concerned, about staff burnout linked to current pressures.

"However, the report also makes clear the investment of time and resource needed to create a supportive environment for staff. The combination of increasing demand, reduced capacity and workforce shortages risks putting this work under strain, despite best efforts.

The combination of increasing demand, reduced capacity and workforce shortages risks putting this work under strain, despite best efforts.

Miriam Deakin    Director of Policy and Strategy

"While there have been steps taken to provide better mental health support for staff during the pandemic, in the long term we have to see more recognition of the ongoing importance of this, and the specific need in relation to safety events, as part of a wider approach to valuing staff.

"We also need to see investment in the NHS workforce to not only cover existing staffing gaps, but also to build in flexibility so that resilience can be improved. This is essential to ensure that expertise, time and resources are consistently available and protected within organisations."

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