Signing up to save 6,000 lives

“There can be no greater breach of the trust between clinician and patient than when a patient is harmed unnecessarily,” Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health.

The NHS has begun a new campaign which aims to halve avoidable harm and save up to 6,000 lives in the next three years.

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, will formally launch the ‘Sign up for Safety’ campaign in June with an ambition to making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.

The Rt Hon Mr Hunt will be writing to all NHS organisations to encourage them to sign up in support – something that EEAST will do.

John Martin, Director of Patient Safety and Clinical Standards, said: “A national focus on safety, effectiveness and compassion means a better result for patients, and more support for staff. Unsafe care doesn’t just have an impact on the patient but on the clinician as well.

“Signing up to the campaign will mean that EEAST can learn from best practice, not just in the UK but from around the world. Throughout this year, the movement will be joined by more champions, more trusts and more staff, and I know we can rely on help and commitment from all you to get behind this campaign when we sign up.”

Leaders behind the campaign have said that unsafe care also wastes time and money; according to one study £1 billion worth of bed days in the NHS were wasted on preventable harm in just one year.

Members of the campaign will be supported to tackle issues like this by a new team, Safety Action For England. The team will be made up of senior clinicians, managers and patients with a proven track record in tackling unsafe care. They will ensure fast, flexible and intensive support for everyone involved, so that where unsafe practice is detected at one end of the country, the lesson is learned at the other end as well.

You can read the Secretary of State’s message to NHS staff on Sign up for Safety on the gov.uk website, as well as a transcript of the honest and inspiring speech in which he verbally launched the campaign.

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