Key points

  • Reducing preventable harm from patient safety incidents is proving to be a major challenge.
  • Innovative interventions are required, and patients can make a contribution.
  • Developing successful patient-led interventions is not without its challenges.

Dr Rebecca Lawton and Dr Gerry Armitage look at ways to involve patients in clinical safety and the readiness of patients and health professionals to adopt new roles. They discuss the importance of involving patients in the development of patient engagement and involvement strategies.

At the Health Foundation, we know that genuine patient involvement in their own care requires a fundamental cultural shift in the relationship between patients and clinicians. We have conducted research and designed and delivered improvement programmes that promote these new relationships.

Health Foundation thought papers are the author’s own views. We would like to thank Dr Lawton and Dr Armitage for their work, which we hope will stimulate ideas, reflection and discussion.

Further reading

Evidence scan

Involving patients in improving safety

January 2013
Evidence scan

Ways that patients have been involved in improving safety.

Learning report

Continuous improvement of patient safety

November 2015
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