Safety Checklist - Questions everyone should ask about safety

Resource booklet for NHSScotland Board Members, with an interest in Clinical Governance.

Q1: Does everyone understand their role and responsibility in improving safety?

Why is it important?

Safety is an essential component of high quality health care. We need to make sure that our healthcare system is safe for our staff and our patients. Ensuring that patients and staff are kept safe within all healthcare settings (including urgent, primary, community and hospital care) is central to ensuring improvements in the quality of patient care. Safety is everyone's responsibility and everyone needs to understand what it means for them. Leadership and strategic support to improve safety should exist at all levels within our organisations.

What does 'good' look like?

  • Our strategy includes a clear vision and purpose for the future that puts the quality of care and the safety of people at its heart.
  • We have a clear plan for safety that is appropriately resourced and sets specific, measurable and challenging goals for improving the safety of patient care, service delivery and reducing harm each year. We make a public commitment to this.
  • We are clear that everyone from Board members through to front-line staff, service users and their families are responsible for safety, are involved, empowered and have a part to play.
  • We support leaders at all levels to undertake safety walkrounds to provide support for safety work and unlock barriers to improvement.
  • Safety, effectiveness and a good experience are part of our quality agenda and are discussed at every Board meeting.

At least 25% of our Board agenda is about the quality and safety of the care we deliver. Our Board knows what actions to take if there are concerns about the safety of the care.


Email: Sarah Hildersley

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