Over the past couple of months, I’ve agreed to advise on two key patient safety improvement processes. I’ll be drawing on my campaign experience with Patient Safety First and specifically using what we have learnt from our work with www.patientstories.org.uk.
The first initiative is the “Never Events” Task Force which is to be led by the Royal College of Surgeons, supported by NHS England. Preliminary work began in April 2013 and a public consultation and deliberation process is due to begin later this month. I am joined on the Task Force by Clare Bowen, mother of Bethany Bowen, with whom I collaborated to make the documentary “Beth’s Story” which was short-listed for the Medical Journalist’s Association Winter Awards in 2011.
I’ve also just agreed to join an expert reference group to support the Care Quality Commission’s forthcoming consultation on the new inspection regime for acute hospitals and mental health trusts.
I’m normally very sceptical about such groups, often feeling that they are an excuse not to do things. I am also generally quite a poor “committee person” as I find their processes suffocating, circular and bureaucratic. But so far, I am very encouraged. The “Never Events” Task Force has some great members, all of whom are really passionate about what they do. It is also being expertly chaired by my colleague and collaborator Dr Suzanne Shale who is designing the meeting processes with great care, skill and attention.
It’s also very good to see the direct experience, testimony and knowledge of those who have suffered harm not only being heard, but actively valued and used. For too long their stories have at best been unheard and at worst, ignored.
If you would like to participate in these consultations, simply follow us on twitter @patientstory or register here www.patientstories.org.uk and we’ll let you know how and when you can join in the process.