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HEALTH INEQUALITIES AND PATIENT SAFETY, Dr Cian Wade, National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow at NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, 22 July 2021

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Health inequalities are increasing in the UK and the COVID-19 pandemic has provided renewed impetus to find solutions to these unfair and avoidable differences in our population’s health. In addition to addressing the social determinants of health, we must also consider whether elements of healthcare itself systematically disadvantage vulnerable groups of patients. The National Patient Safety Team has set out its strategic objectives to understand whether differences in risk of harm from healthcare are a contributing factor to health inequalities.

Here we presented the findings of a mixed-methods review exploring whether risk of harm from healthcare varies between different groups of patients, what the mechanisms driving these differences are, and what possible solutions may be able to reduce these inequalities. This presents an integration of the patient safety and health inequalities agendas, which offers a novel perspective on the possible role healthcare professionals, organisations and systems could play in both improving patient safety and reducing health inequalities.



THE KING’S FUND: COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP FOR CULTURES OF HIGH QUALITY CARE, Professor Michael West, Lancaster University Management School, 10 December 2020

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Abstract: The pandemic has triggered global tragedy, pain, fear, anxiety and darkness. Yet, at the darkest times there is an opportunity for the light of learning to stream in. In this presentation I will suggest that the three key areas of learning from this crisis for our health and care systems are compassionate leadership, team-working, and reflection. The seminar will address the question of how we can develop cultures of high quality, continually improving and compassionate care in the challenging circumstances we face in our health services and, at the same time, ensure the well-being and growth of those who provide that care?

Drawing on the evidence from our two reviews into doctors’ and nurses’ mental health and wellbeing across the UK, the seminar will provide practical guidance necessary to help us ensure that compassion, high quality and innovation are at the heart of health and care cultures.

The seminar will provide information not only the ‘what’ of the key elements of team and organisational elements for a positive culture but also the ‘how’. It will describe how we can help to create the conditions that ensure high-quality care cultures at national and local level. It will draw on the strategies being implemented across the four UK health and care systems to illustrate the key themes. Participants will have links to a wealth of open-access, evidence-based resources to enable them to support the transformation of health care teams and organisations.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Patient and service user involvement in developing and delivering care has become part of every day practice. Over the last six years the NHS Leadership Academy has built an evidence base for how involving patients in leadership development positively influences the perception of healthcare leaders and in turn delivery of services. Through initiatives such as reciprocal mentoring, recruitment and selection training and storytelling, it has been possible to show that leaders think and behave differently as a direct result of their experiences. Initially evidence centred on the perspective of leaders but has now encompassed the extent to which patients, carers and service users themselves gain skills from the very act of involvement which has then been shown to support and enhance other areas of their life including a route back into employment. This seminar focused on understanding the nature of developing transferable skills through co-production and what is required in order to facilitate this successfully for mutual benefit.

Presentation slides available here

“FROM ‘BODIES ON THE PAVEMENT’ TO THE PARTICIPATORY ZEITGEIST: SHAPING CHANGE IN HEALTHCARE ORGANISATIONS”, Glenn Robert Professor of Health Care Quality & Innovation, King’s College London, 23rd January 2020

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Abstract: This talk will critically explore the current trend towards more participatory methods for bringing about change within (and outside) healthcare organisations, and the resulting opportunities and challenges that arise for applied (and not so applied) qualitative health researchers. By revisiting the radical origins of such methods the talk will provide an opportunity to consider how they relate to more recent constructs such as Patient & Public Involvement. The potential for combining both imagination and rigour in qualitative research which might contribute to beneficial change in the organisation of healthcare service delivery will be discussed..

Biography: My research at King’s College London draws on the fields of organisational studies and organisational sociology. It incorporates the study of innovations in the organisation and delivery of health care services as well as quality improvement interventions. My current research interests include collaborating with service designers to identify and test any creative and participatory methods that might have value in addressing some of the challenges facing the NHS. Through a part-time Chair at Jönköping University, Sweden I am also collaborating on a long-term research programme which is seeking to explore, enhance and measure the value of co-production for improving the health and social care of citizens.


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Abstract: This is a very personal, thought-provoking and heart-warming session that will leave you inspired, reflective and overall in awe of such an amazing individual that we were blessed to have as part of healthcare.

My inspiring wife Dr Kate Granger MBE along with myself came up with a social media campaign that has gone on to revolutionise patient care across global healthcare. This session will take you on the journey from the conception of #hellomynameis to how it now fits within healthcare and how Kate’s legacy continues through the work I do and the numerous accolades named after her.

Biography: Hello, my name is Chris Pointon and I am the husband of the late Dr Kate Granger MBE who was a doctor and patient. My wife died in 2016 aged just 34 after 5 years living with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Throughout that time we raised over £250,000 for charity (now at £380,000) and changed global healthcare through a simple campaign we started in 2013 entitled #hellomynameis. Following Kate’s death I continue to promote the campaign through talking at various conferences across the globe and worldwide awareness on social media.

I don’t officially work in healthcare myself and have spent my career of 26 years within retail and logistics with the last 17 years in the home office of a major global retailer. I recently finished a 12 month sabbatical from my career travelling the world raising awareness of the campaign and promoting compassionate care in healthcare and beyond, along with raising vast amounts of money for charity.

Presentation slides available here

HEALTH STATES OF EXCEPTION: THE (INADVERTENT) PRODUCTION OF ‘BARE LIFE’ IN COMPLEX CARE TRANSITIONS: Justin Waring Professor in Organisational Sociology at Nottingham University Business School, 9th May 2019

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Abstract: A growing number of reports and research studies show that people discharged from hospital often experience a sense of abandonment and stigmatisation, and that they all too often receive delayed, inappropriate or unsafe care. In many ways it can seem that these people are seen as less important or valuable to the care system. This paper draws upon the work of Giorgio Agamben to understand how the social organisation of care transitions can reduce people to their ‘bare’ life thereby making possible harmful and degrading treatment. The concept of ‘bare’ life is derived from classical Greek and Roman law, and describes a ‘life’ that is deprived or stripped of the safeguards and protections that are usually accorded to citizens in the form of a ‘qualified’ life.

The findings of a two-year ethnographic study are analysed to show how some people experience hospital discharge as a vulnerable, inhumane and unsafe process, as found in their lack of involvement in care planning, delayed discharge from hospital and inappropriate and unsafe follow-on care. This is shown to stem from the way patients are constituted as ‘unknown’ and ‘ineligible’ and, in turn, professionals become ‘not responsible’ for care during and after the discharge processes. The social production of ‘bare life’ is found to be an inadvertent feature of patients ‘falling between gaps’ of different professional practices and cultures within a complex care system.

Biography: I completed my doctorate in Sociology at the University of Nottingham (2004) on ‘The social construction and control of medical errors’. I am now Professor in Organisational Sociology at Nottingham University Business School. In 2013, I founded the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership & Learning (CHILL), which leads the Business School’s research on health systems improvement, and in the same year was awarded a Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship to undertake research on major system change. I am currently Associate Dean for Research within the Business School, and also the Lead for the ‘Implementing Evidence and Improvement’ Theme for NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands, and the Lead for the ‘Safer Care Systems and Transitions’ Theme for the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.

Presentation slides available here.


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Abstract: Patient safety has established itself as a multidisciplinary research arena for over 2 decades. During this time, a number of high profile safety-improvement interventions have been developed and evaluated, with some showing very promising results in scientific trials and other studies. Yet, descriptive evidence and anecdotal accounts from the frontline of healthcare delivery suggest that some of these interventions have struggled to gain adequate traction within routine health services – such that their expected positive impact on patient outcomes has not always been consistent.

In this seminar I will explore some of the above barriers, with specific examples from acute healthcare. I will offer an overview of the basic tenets of implementation science and reflect on their application within the current evidence base for patient safety. I will conclude the seminar with a call for reflection and debate with the audience regarding the need for further patient safety studies that evaluate clinical effectiveness, compared to studies that focus on implementation effectiveness instead – arguing that the latter are now more timely than ever.

Biography: A psychologist by training, Nick is Director of the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London, Academic Director of the Quality Improvement and Implementation Science Clinical Academic Group within King’s Health Partners, Chief Editor of BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning and Associate Editor of Implementation Science. His research is situated at the interface of patient safety, improvement and implementation sciences. For the past 15 years, Nick has been studying perioperative and cancer pathways, aiming to address human factors in care delivery; to understand barriers and drivers of implementing and sustaining evidence-based improvement interventions; and to increase capacity to undertake safety and quality improvement at the frontline of healthcare delivery. His research has been disseminated in over 300 publications and chapters to-date.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Improving patient safety in healthcare settings is a major concern globally. Medicines are the most commonly used clinical intervention in healthcare, and errors involving the prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring steps of medication use are common. Such medication errors can prolong hospital stay and lead to significant patient morbidity. Given this, the World Health Organisation has recently identified ‘Medication Without Harm’ as the priority for their third Global Patient Safety Challenge which aims to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50% globally in the next 5 years.  In primary care settings, we have been working to address these challenges focused on reducing hazardous prescribing as part of the work programme within the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC). The seminar will focus on the interventional studies underway, lessons learnt and plans for the future.

Biography: Darren holds the Foundation Professorship in Pharmacoepidemiology and is Head of the Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Group at the University of Manchester. He is the Deputy Director of the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC, in which he also leads the medication safety research theme. He is also a member of the Pharmacovigilance Expert Advisory Group (PEAG) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

As a pharmacist and pharmaco-epidemiologist, his major research interests and teaching include: methods to improve the appropriateness and safety of drug prescribing and drug taking, and quantification of the risks and benefits of drug therapies. He has led extensive research programmes focused on patient safety in a wide range of healthcare settings (hospitals, general practices, and pharmacies), with particular expertise in understanding and improving medication safety.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Quality and safety of care remains a priority for the NHS but approximately 5% of deaths in English hospitals are preventable, and attributed to poor quality of care.  Patients who are admitted to hospital towards the end of their lives can experience inadequate decision making, poor communication and suboptimal treatment and there is the need for clinical staff to recognise as soon as possible that a person is dying and to communicate this clearly to others.  Over a two year research study in two NHS hospitals, a suite of four automated risk scores was developed that use routinely collected electronically stored data to provide clinicians with estimates of patients’ risk of death and sepsis during their stay in hospital. These scores rely on two key clinical data sources – the patients vital signs data as defined and monitored by the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) and routine blood test results.  Staff and patient involvement has been integral to the development of the scores.  In this presentation, we outline the findings of 8 focus groups involving 11 service users and carers, and 45 health care practitioners, and explain how these have contributed to an understanding of value and potential use of the scores in practice.

Biography: Dr Judith Dyson is a registered general and mental health nurse, a health psychologist and her research focuses on the use of psychological theory in supporting practitioners in implementing best practice.

Dr Claire Marsh is a research fellow in quality, safety and patient experience and also leads patient and public engagement for the Yorkshire & Humber Improvement Academy.

Presentation slides available here


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Abstract: Nursing and healthcare in the 21st century is charged with delivering high quality care within an increasingly diverse society. Much of the policy, practice and research drivers around cultural competence, diversity and nursing practice focuses on meeting the needs of patients, service users and the public – particularly following the findings of the Francis Report (2013). However, recent reports have highlighted that highlighting the need for compassionate care for patients often occurs in isolation from recognising the needs of the workforce or the nursing profession as a whole – in this regard we do ourselves a dis-service – and in the silent spaces between patient need and workforce responsibilities, we fail to acknowledge the importance of professional leadership as the catalyst to delivering the high quality, equitable and culturally competent care that we all hope for. This presentation will use personal and professional reflections to highlight the importance of culturally competent and compassionate leadership to truly achieving safety and quality in 21st century health care. It explores the challenges and opportunities faced at an individual and professional level in the UK. It looks back at nursing strategic drivers of the last 3 years in the UK and makes a case for centralising culturally competent, compassionate leadership in the light of the new strategic framework for nurses, midwives and care staff (2016)

Biography: Professor Laura Serrant OBE is Professor of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University, one of the few black Professors of Nursing (out of 262) in the UK. She is one of the 2017 BBC Expert women, Chair of the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s BME Strategic Advisory group and a 2017 Florence Nightingale Scholar. She is an ambassador of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue and the Equality Challenge Unit Race Equality Charter for Higher Education. Her work has been recognised with numerous awards and prizes, including Queens Nurse status and Fellowship of the Queens Nursing Institute to those who have shown leadership in community nursing. In 2014, she was named as one of the top 50 leaders in the UK by The Health Services Journal in three separate categories: Inspirational Women in Healthcare, BME Pioneers and Clinical Leader awards. The Powerlist 2018 lists her as the 8th most influential Black person in the UK. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year for services to Health Policy.

Presentation slides available here