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Going live in 2019: Patient Powered Safety – good news x 2

A mere ten days to the end of 2018 and I am getting close to the end of year two of my fellowship with The Health Foundation with two pieces of good news – the first publication from this program will appear in the Future Health Journal and we have an invite for those interested in patients’ safety for an event in Bangor on the 23rd and 24th of May 2019 that we are really, really excited about.

As an early Christmas presents I had confirmation today that our report from a workshop at the Royal College of Physicians about Personal Health Records in hospital is going to be published by Future Health – the journal that came out of the work on innovation in hospital care led by the Future Hospital Commission of the Royal College of Physicians. Without wanting to pre-empt the content – we are capturing a broad range of issues with a mixed group of experts – including experts by experience. Watch this space.

The second good news is that Bangor University will host the first ‘Patient Powered Safety’ symposium on the 23rd and 24th of May – we have been working on the concept for a few months: In essence this is part of a Bangor-based ‘Summer Academy’ on patients’ safety. The first part will be an innovation lab – more about this in one of the next blogs. The bottom line is that we are brining experts in patients’ safety to North Wales and we will share learning with as wide a group as possible at the symposium.

The underlying principle of the symposium comes from work of my fantastic colleagues Andy Goodman and John Parkinson who some will have met at our ‘Cost of (No) Improvement’ event in September. They have researched that in order to design innovation with proper bite we need to have a minimum of four groups in the room:

  1. Everyman/women – those of us who are end-users of products and services.

  2. Scientists and subject matter experts who can share what is known in a specific field.

  3. Artists and designers- who bring creativity to process and outputs.

  4. Business – those who understand the price of what we are doing, market value and mechanisms of commissioning, be it public or private sector.

Taking all this together they have come up with a cool acronym: Business, Art, Science, Everyman becomes BASE! We have applied the BASE system to safety innovation in January of this year. In a two day workshop at Pontio Innovation we created safety solutions based around patient experiences of published serious adverse events. And we are now starting the testing of the resulting ideas in a clinical trial with patients undergoing treatment for cancer funded by and iGrant from Tenovus.

Our symposium will be in essence a ‘BASE – camp Health’: just off Snowdonia we will be brining people together for a couple of days to walk and talk through innovation in patient safety. The twist will be that we are looking specifically for innovation that allows patients (and those close to them) to get involved and drive safety and safety culture.

This makes sense for a number of reasons – some of which I have already shared in this blog. In general services that are co-designed with those who use them do better – they have a higher chance to deliver what they were created for and usually generate more satisfaction for those who engage in them. The principle ‘Nothing about me without me’ gets consequently applied to patients’ safety.

We are inviting faculty – clinicians, patients who got involved, health service researchers, health service managers, tech-companies who are working on solutions, improvement scientists, lawyers to support patients after a mishap, creative minds – this faculty will help to guide us safely around rocky subjects. The term faculty is chosen with care: we want to learn from the experience of the Hay-festival where presenters give only short tasters of their work before being quizzed by interviewers and the audience about their topic.

In climbing terms we will probably also do some ‘boldering’: We will take a few tricky rock-faces in the safety world and test some new moves to overcome them. Boldering is not always done at the top of the mountain, it can be done at the bottom; boldering allows to test techniques close to the ground without the risk of fatal crashes. For the real risky ideas we need to have discussions on what moves are needed to test them safely for our practice in the health service.

It is likely that some of the presenters will cause controversy, in fact we very much hope they will: we are not for nothing in Snowdonia – in order to get a great view we need to move up the tricky slopes and get sweaty to gain better sight of problems that surround patient safety. For too long we have been stuck in the valleys without clear sight of improvement – published data suggests that 5-10% of patients admitted to hospital suffer harm and this number has little improved in many areas over the last 20 years.

If you are interested – booking for our BASE-camp on ‘Patient Powered Safety’ has gone live last week. Eventbrite is hosting our bookings. The symposium will be at Bangor University’s conference centre at Reichel Hall. We want to see all those who are interested in safer healthcare: citizens, those who are currently patients, their carers or children, students, teams from hospital, primary or social care. And the incurably curious.

Have we forgotten a group of people that needs to be in the room to make sure we are learning?

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