Board involvement in patient safety and quality: Revisited

Following on from Monitor’s proposals for improving quality in their submission to Lord Darzi’s NHS review (click here), Healthcare Governance Review notes that the Health Service Journal (HSJ) appears up for a bit of debate about how boards should approach safety and quality. Robina Shah, Chair of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, is a contributor to the HSJ’s new Board Talk service and has written a brief article on the subject.

In her article, Robina believes there are two key challenges for the NHS:

1. to create a language of patient safety and quality that is owned by everyone; and

2. to secure agreement about what kind of information will yield the best data on patient safety and patient quality.

Stephen Ramsden, Director of the NHS Patient Safety Campaign, is also in the HSJ saying “Senior leaders of health organisations should ask themselves how much board time is spent each month discussing patient safety, measuring harm, analysing progress and assessing improvement. How many board directors can tell you the hospital-standardised mortality rate of the trust and, if they can, whether it is better or worse than last year’s rate?” Read Stephen’s article here.

Readers might be interested to know that in the USA, the Joint Commission has previously produced a book about boards and the safety and quality agenda. Titled Getting the Board on Board: What Your Board Needs to Know About Quality and Patient Safety, the book is very US-centric, but nevertheless one of the three key chapters in the book is dedicated to elaborating on the board’s role in improving quality and safety. The chapter covers promoting a culture of quality and safety; participating in measurement and improvement; holding management accountable for change; addressing quality and safety in board meetings; and next steps. For further information, click here.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: