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Education and training for patient safety

Patient safety should be the number one concern of all who serve patients in the NHS – the first and most important lesson they learn. Our work on education and training for patient safety looks at how we can best deliver this.

The Commission on Education and Training for Patient Safety

The independent Commission on Education and Training for Patient Safety – supported by academic partner Imperial College – was established by HEE to look at the future of education and training for patient safety in the NHS over the next 10 years. Its resulting publication, Improving Safety through Education and Training was the first report to focus on how education and training interventions can actively improve the safety of patients.

The Commission made 12 recommendations to HEE, and the wider system, including to:

  1. Ensure learning from patient safety data and good practice.
  2. Develop and use a common language to describe all elements of quality improvement science and human factors with respect to patient safety.
  3. Ensure robust evaluation of education and training for patient safety.
  4. Engage patients, family members, carers and the public in the design and delivery of education and training for patient safety.
  5. Supporting the duty of candour is vital and there must be high quality educational training packages available.
  6. The learning environment must support all learners and staff to raise and respond to concerns about patient safety.
  7. The content of mandatory training for patient safety needs to be coherent across the NHS.
  8. All NHS leaders need patient safety training so they can have the knowledge and tools to drive change and improvement.
  9. Education and training must support the delivery of more integrated ‘joined up’ care.
  10. Ensure increased opportunities for inter-professional learning.
  11. Principles of human factors and professionalism must be embedded across education and training.
  12. Ensure staff have the skills to identify and manage potential risks.

Progress to date

We have accepted all 12 recommendations and working in partnership with key organisations across all levels in the system, are providing a leadership role in taking them forward.

Our implementation plan and progress report, available to view below, set out how the recommendations will be delivered and provides an update on the actions. Progress so far includes:

  • Working with other Arms’ Length Bodies and system partners to ensure that our work to deliver high quality patient safety training and encourage safer patient care is nationally aligned;
  • holding a national conference to demonstrate the impact of high quality education and training on the delivery of patient-centred care and better outcomes for patients;
  • publishing our multi-professional HEE Quality Framework and
  • establishing senior leadership throughout our local areas to lead how we implement these recommendations across our own organisation.

The core implementation will take place until the end of 2018.