AHSNs support Care Quality Commission’s call for a ‘change in culture within the NHS’ to reduce avoidable harm

In a national report published in December, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that too many people are being injured or suffering unnecessary harm. ‘Opening the door to change’ examines the issues that contribute to the occurrence of so-called ‘never events’ and other patient safety-related incidents in NHS trusts.

The AHSN Network is uniquely placed to support improvements in patient safety, through its work spreading proven healthcare innovations, and bringing industry and healthcare organisations together to develop innovative solutions.

Chair of the AHSN Network, Dr Séamus O’Neill said:

Seamus O'Neill

“AHSNs have been involved in supporting many fantastic innovations, some of which are directly intended to prevent harmful incidents and never events. Our strength lies in our relationships with local health and care providers and our ability to understand their needs and broker innovative solutions.

“We are able to support innovators to work with the NHS through our Innovation Exchanges, and spread tried and tested products nationally through programmes such as the NHS Innovation Accelerator. We also manage initiatives like the Innovation and Technology Payment, which allows NHS organisations to access products and technologies without financial or procurement barriers.”

The report highlights the work of Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs), which it says are uniquely placed to support the wider healthcare system to improve patient safety outcomes. The 15 regional PSCs are hosted by AHSNs and are commissioned by NHS Improvement to deliver national workstreams on deterioration and sepsis, medicines safety, maternal and neonatal safety, and adoption and spread. Find out more about the work of the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire PSC here.

Dr Jonathon Gray, lead AHSN Chief Officer for patient safety, said:

“We are delighted that Patient Safety Collaboratives have been recognised for their important contribution to avoiding patient harm. Through our work supporting system-wide cultural change over the last five years, we have delivered quality improvement, safety culture and human factors training to hundreds of health and care organisations across the country.”

Jonathan Gray

NHS Improvement is currently consulting on a new national patient safety strategy, which will sit alongside the NHS Long Term Plan and ensure that there is an increased focus on safety improvement.

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