Involving patients in improving safety

January 2013

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Key points

  • The scan shows that supporting patient involvement in safety improvement will not solve all the safety issues in the NHS, nor does it negate the responsibility of health systems and professionals to provide safe care. But involving patients and carers can be an important component of broader strategies.
    • As patients come to be seen and treated as partners in their care, there is significant potential to make real gains in patient safety.
    • The main approaches to involving patients in safety improvement that the scan identifies include:
      • collecting feedback retrospectively
      • asking patients to help plan broad service change
      • encouraging patients to help identify risks when they are receiving care.

    Much is being done to improve safety in healthcare. Patients themselves can help to safeguard their own wellbeing and promote change. This evidence scan describes ways that patients have been involved in improving safety.

    The scan addresses the questions:

    • How have patients and carers been involved in improving safety in healthcare?
    • Is there any evidence that patient involvement leads to improved safety?

    Further reading

    Improvement project

    Putting the patient at the heart of patient safety

    This project assessed the effectiveness of using a patient measure of safety to determine factors that contribute to safety, ...

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