Oxleas in vanguard of 'Sign up to Safety' campaign

We are to be in the first group of 12 trusts in the vanguard of a new patient safety improvement movement across England - that could save up to 6,000 lives across the country in the next three years.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced the trusts - of which we are one - that will be part of the new patient safety initiative this week. It centres on five important elements - or pledges - that will be the backbone of the 'Sign up to Safety' campaign. These are: we will put safety first; we will continually learn; we will involve people in improving safety; we will work with partner organisations and we will support our staff to champion safety.

Chief Executive Stephen Firn said: "We treat patient safety very seriously at Oxleas. I am delighted that, as a high performing trust, we have been chosen to lead the way in this initiative."

Mr Hunt said that NHS organisations will be invited to 'Sign up to Safety' and set out publicly their plans for reducing avoidable harm, such as medication errors, blood clots and bed sores over the next three years.

The NHS Litigation Authority, which indemnifies trusts against law suits, has agreed to review the plans and, when approved, reduce the premiums paid by all hospitals and trusts successfully implementing them. Every year the NHS spends £1.3 billion on litigation claims.

Mr Hunt said: "It is my clear ambition that the NHS should become the safest healthcare system anywhere in the world. I want the tragic events of Mid Staffs to become a turning point in the creation of a more open, compassionate and transparent culture within the NHS.

"We now have a once in a generation opportunity to save lives and prevent avoidable harm - which will empower staff and save money that can be re-invested in patient care. Hospitals are already 'signing up to safety' as part of this new movement - and I hope all NHS organisations will soon join them."

Published on 27th March 2014