The Department of Health’s 2006 review of Patient Safety in England, Safety First, identified that while there was a great deal of awareness, sustained change in patient safety continued to be a challenge.
Consequently, a recommendation of Safety First was to set up a campaign for the NHS in England to promote and support the implementation of interventions that were known to improve the safety of patient care. This led to the design and delivery of Patient Safety First.
The campaign’s cause was to make patient safety a top priority and to create a mindset of ‘no avoidable death and no avoidable harm’.
The campaign ethos was, ‘by the service, for the service’, i.e. frontline NHS staff both the face of the campaign and leading locally driven change.
During the two years, the three aims were to:
- Engage leaders to focus on improving their safety culture
- Engage frontline clinicians in patient safety
- Enable changes in behaviour locally through implementation.
Patient Safety First focuses on the implementation of five interventions, Leadership for safety and four clinical interventions:
Trusts boards and healthcare organisations who signed up to Patient Safety First committed to implementing the Leadership intervention, and acute Trusts committed to implementing at least one of the clinical interventions. The commitment included monitoring improvement and sharing data.
While the campaign phase of Patient Safety First has ended, Patient Safety First's online community still continues to grow and the website has evolved to become a 'hub' for a number of patient safety improvement programmes and resources.
The 'How to' guides, videos, case studies and many other resources developed by the Patient Safety First campaign are available to be used by anyone involved in delivering safe care.