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Patients Association - APPG for Patient Safety hears how culture change in the NHS is vital to ensuring patient safety

Further culture change within the NHS is required to improve patient safety and reduce infections, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Patient Safety was told in its second meeting on Tuesday 8 December.

Ben Gummer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Quality, warned that while there is a growing energy to put patient safety front and centre of the NHS, much more still needs to be done. The Minister gave examples of good practise that demonstrate how a culture shift with a clear focus on patient safety and boosting staff satisfaction can lead to enhanced care quality and efficiency in NHS Trusts. 

The APPG also heard from Dr Mike Durkin, Director of Patient Safety at NHS England, who emphasised a need for greater transparency across the NHS. Dr Durkin said that the NHS must be an organisation that is constantly learning, and one that places the needs of patients and their families at its core. 

Dr Philippa Whitford, the SNP Health spokesman in the House of Commons and a qualified surgeon, then offered a perspective of patient safety in the NHS in Scotland. Dr Whitford spoke about the successful Scottish National Hand Hygiene Campaign emphasising the risks to patients from infections and the vital role that everyone can play in significantly improving patient safety. 

The next meeting of the APPG for Patient Safety will be held in February 2016 and will focus on two new Prevention White Papers presented by Stephen Rowley, Clinical Director of The Association for Safe Aseptic Practice, and Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association. 

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said: 

“The Patients Association was delighted to welcome an expert panel to give evidence at the second meeting of the APPG for Patient Safety. The APPG for Patient Safety was created to highlight that much more can be done to improve patient safety across the NHS, particularly towards complaints handling and infection control. 

“It was pleasing to hear that both the Government and NHS England recognise that patient safety must be at the heart of the culture of the NHS. Better complaints handling is key to bringing about this culture change. It is fundamental to the work of the Patients Association, and we are hoping through this APPG to help create an NHS with greater openness and transparency. 

“At the next meeting, the Patients Association will present its White Paper that focusses on the importance of increasing transparency in the NHS. We will continue to use the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Patient Safety to raise issues with politicians, and voice the concerns of patients in Parliament.” 

Notes for Editors

The Patients Association is an independent national health and social care charity established over 52 years ago, and has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of patients is heard within the Health and Social care system.

For further information please contact the Patients Association on 020 8423 9111 alternatively you can call 07779 004898.

You can also visit us on our website at www.patients-association.org.uk 

You can also view our All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Patient Safety at http://www.patients-association.org.uk/policycampaigns/all-party-parliamentary-group-patient-safety/

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