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Clare’s MSc journey in patient safety so far

Written by: Clare Ashby - 26th March 2018

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) funded Clare Ashby to complete Masters degree in Quality and Patient Safety Improvement, at the University of Nottingham University, as part of a programme launched by the National PSC.

Well, my first module is completed. I have elected to undertake this MSc as slowly as possible as working full time in Yorkshire Ambulance Service has its own pressures and I want to make the most of each module that I undertake. I really enjoyed the content and as it was Quality Improvement I was on the fairly safe ground. For the assignment, I took the opportunity to review an internal Quality Improvement Project so that all my learning fed back into the organisation.

The next module up is called Organisational Aspects of Risk, Safety & Quality. It covers a huge amount of topic areas, from risk management to complexity of systems, highly reliable organisation theory and natural accident theory. As Head of Safety for YAS I am interested in doing safety differently; coined ‘Safety 2’ and this module has given me food for thought for my work setting and challenged my thinking and approach.

Focussing in on learning from when things go right, what is happening in safe and reliable teams can give you as much to work with in terms of improvement ideas as learning from when things have gone wrong. Getting the balance of learning right, between these two ends of the spectrum, is something that the NHS has struggled with as there has been an overemphasis on incident reporting and serious incident investigations with investigation fatigue now commonplace in the healthcare sector. That’s not to say incident reporting does not have its place but it’s not the only way to gain learning about the complex systems in which we work.

If you do have strong views on incident investigations and the value of them to learning in the NHS don’t forget to have your say via the consultation that NHS Improvement has launched this week.

If you want to find out more about Safety 2 – watch this video by Sidney Dekker. It encompasses where I see safety culture heading into healthcare. It promotes local empowerment, where staff make, own and embed changes to their work that ensure continuous improvements in safety.

I am head down for a while now as my next assignment is due soon. I have really enjoyed this module and it has stretched my thinking once again.

Read all about Clare’s experience to date in her previous blog here.