How safe is the patient care in your organisation? As a board how do you seek assurance?

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The Sign up to Safety campaign was launched in June 2014 - with the mission of creating the conditions for a safer NHS that supports locally led self-directed safety improvement. That is, the campaign seeks to support the basic desire of people working close to patients to 'do good' and help translate this into local practical projects, the collective aim of which is to reduce avoidable harm by half and save 6,000 lives.

Your organisation may have signed up to the campaign, so this evening is an opportunity to:

  • discuss the aims, objectives and methods of the campaign in its second year
  • hear about what we are learning from practitioners as they lead their safety improvement projects across a wide variety of NHS services
  • consider the current board ‘levers’ and incentives for quality and safety and what hinders, what helps and what practical support people need right now
  • develop a checklist of useful board level questions and behaviours in relation to supporting and learning from patient safety projects.

This session was led by Dr Suzette Woodward (Sign up to Safety Campaign Director) and Dr David Naylor (the Campaign's learning advisor and Senior Consultant at The King's Fund). The session was informal, with a mix of short presentations and discussion.


David Naylor

David Naylor is Senior Consultant at The King's Fund, where he worked previously between 2001 and 2009.

Before working at the Fund, David was chief executive of a third sector housing and care service. Prior to that, he was service development manager in Haringey Mental Health Service, care adviser to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and ward manager at the Maudsley Hospital, where he trained as a psychiatric nurse.

David's main area of interest is to help organisations, teams and individuals to review and evaluate what they do at work, explore what they might be capable of doing and plan how to improve their effectiveness and experience of their work. He also seeks to support people who want to improve the safety of service users by developing their capacity to confront and question any practice or assumption that may increase the risk of harm.

David has a professional doctorate, an MA in organisational change and a diploma in counselling. He also trained in consultancy at the University of Surrey.

Suzette Woodward

Suzette Woodward is a paediatric intensive care nurse who has worked for 35 years in the NHS; for the last fifteen years at a national level in Patient Safety. Suzette has worked as a Board Director at the National Patient Safety Agency and the NHS Litigation Authority. She was asked to lead the national Sign up to Safety campaign in 2014, working across the NHS in England to create a safety and learning culture with a focus on implementation and locally led safety. She is using a unique approach helping the NHS to unite around a common purpose to reduce avoidable harm and save lives.  

While working full time, Suzette achieved an MSc in Clinical Risk and a Doctorate in Patient Safety which won the prize of the year. At international level, she has worked with the WHO and health ministries across the world. She was a Gamesmaker at the London Olympics and Paralympics and help set up the Caremakers. 

Suzette has been named as one of the top inspirational women in the NHS in 2013, top nursing leader in 2014 and top clinical leader in 2015.