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Reflections on care quality and safety

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, shares her views on how patient care has evolved over the past two decades. The organisation celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023 and has witnessed some significant changes in the culture around patient care, during this time. Here, Rachel reflects on the progress achieved and what still needs to improve.

In many ways our work hasn’t changed. The Patients Association’s was established in January 1963 by teacher Helen Hodgson, who was moved to establish the organisation by “reports on thalidomide babies, wrong patient operations and tests on patients”. These three elements – safety, rights, and ethics – continue to inform our work.

But what has changed is that, with our strategy focusing on embedding patient partnership across the health and social system, we see ourselves as part of the solution, rather than just a critic.

In 2013, following publication of the findings of the public inquiry into Mid Staffs, we started to work with NHS Trusts to improve their complaints handling. Our goal is to help them transform into learning organisations, valuing what patients say and acting on it, not least when things go wrong. Over the last 20 years we have had to call out safety issues time and time again, and many situations are caused by the abject failure of healthcare professionals to listen to patients or carers.

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Upcoming Events

Arab Health 2023

Dubai World Trade Centre
30th January - 2nd February 2023

Central Sterilising Club Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 4th April 2023

DECON UK 2023

Hilton Birmingham Metropole
18th April 2023

Infection Prevention and Control 2023

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
25th - 26th April 2023

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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