Douglas Bilton and Harry Cayton discuss the relationship between regulators and those they regulate – be they people, places or products – and the impact this can have on patient safety.
The authors propose that regulators should work together to create a regulatory system which minimises the multiplicity of different sources of guidance and direction, which is consistent and clear, and which can be seen to be a single regulatory force with different elements. By working together to create conditions which promote engagement with professional responsibility and identity, regulators can create a consistent regulatory system within which safe care can flourish.
The Health Foundation is calling for a stepwise change in thinking about patient safety. This paper forms part of a programme of work we are undertaking to help answer the question: How do we know care is safe? We want to build on a culture that has focused almost exclusively on measuring past harm and enhance this to incorporate approaches to measurement that also establish the presence of safety.
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