Sign up to Safety: Listen, Learn, Act

Sign up to safety logo We have committed to listening to patients, carers and staff, learning from what they say when things go wrong and taking action to improve patients’ safety.

Sign up to Safety (opens on a new window) is a national programme designed to help realise the ambition of making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world by creating a system devoted to continuous learning and improvement.

This ambition is bigger than any individual or organisation and achieving it requires us all to unite behind this common purpose. We need to give patients confidence that we are doing all we can to ensure that the care they receive will be safe and effective at all times.

Sign up to Safety aims to deliver harm free care for every patient, every time, everywhere. It champions openness and honesty and supports everyone to improve the safety of patients. The programme’s three year objective is to reduce avoidable harm by 50% and save 6,000 lives.

Organisations that sign up to the programme need to describe what actions they are going to take in response to the programme’s five pledges:

  • Put safety first
  • Continually learn
  • Honesty
  • Collaborate
  • Support.

Our Sign up to Safety pledges

Put safety first

We will continue to promote patient safety and demonstrate a year on year reduction in harm through:

  • Reporting of clinical incidents
  • Analysis of incidents through appropriate levels of investigation
  • Reducing the risk of harm through implementation of barriers, controls and solutions
  • Sharing of learning through governance and management structures and through other communication channels
  • Fully engaging in the work of the NHS safety thermometer
  • Benchmarking our performance against other trusts and taking action as appropriate
  • Monitoring our progress through our quarterly quality report
  • Delivering the ambition set out in our Quality Strategy 2014-2016.
Continually learn

We will continue to promote a culture where staff are able to acknowledge mistakes, take action to put things right and learn from the event.  Staff are encouraged, and have responsibility, to report adverse incidents, near misses, concerns and unexpected outcomes and actively to learn from the patients experience.  We will:

  • Fully implement our Patient First programme across the trust
  • Continue to monitor and measure patient safety throughout the organisation from ‘ward to board’ through review of relevant performance measures
  • Continue to demonstrate internal control through the Risk Register and Board Assurance Framework
  • Demonstrate an honest, transparent approach with our patients and staff to support learning following a clinical incident or a patient concern
  • Monitor our progress through our quarterly quality report.

Our aim, at all times, is to demonstrate to our patients that we are continuously working to improve our patient experience and outcomes by putting them first and treating them as individuals.  Sharing of learning is an important element of patient safety.  By integrating risk management into all activities, promoting incident reporting, and having open communication with patients and their relatives when things go wrong, we aim to share learning and implement changes in practice or investigate solutions to prevent further harm.  We will:

  • Continue to support candour with patients through our ‘being open’ policy.
  • Support our staff in being open with patients.

Innovation is key in continually improving patient care and includes introducing new interventions, new medicines and devices, pathway redesign and new technologies. 

Changes in practice are scrutinised and monitored through our governance processes which may engage our service redesign team, our Clinical Assurance Panel and Risk and Clinical Governance committees.  At all times our priority is safe transformation of care.  We will:

  • Continue to work with our multidisciplinary teams, partner organisations and stakeholders to implement our service transformation programme to deliver quality care across the health system
  • Base our service improvements on clinical evidence, best practice and national guidelines including NICE and Royal Colleges.

We are committed to improving quality through review and sharing of information that is generated to monitor patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness. We will:

  • Present information from ‘ward to board’ recognising the importance of acknowledging and celebrating success and equally, challenging and responding to information that reveals ‘inconvenient truths’; thus supporting opportunities for improvement
  • Support our staff in their development through our trust induction, training programmes and personal annual performance and development reviews.

Our plans

We have secured national funding to take three plans forward as part of the programme. These are  to reduce patient falls, ensure our sickest patients are assessed and seen without delay, and to make sure our monitoring of women in labour is as accurate as possible .

Read more about the funding and plans:


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Healthy Workplace Achievement Award 2016 NHS Choices