NHS Employers comments on appointment of Don Berwick

Dean Royles

14 / 3 / 2013 Midnight

Dean Royles welcomes appointment and says his expertise should provide valuable support to the NHS.

Commenting on the appointment of Don Berwick to lead a review into patient safety, Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

"Employers are determined to ensure patients receive safe and effective care. We welcome the appointment of Don Berwick to advise and share his experience of improving patient safety to help us shape a strong safety culture. 

"His experience and expertise should provide valuable support to the NHS as local organisations seek to improve their culture of openness and transparency. We must make sure that this culture change is one that supports and values staff, listens to patients and uses the wealth of evidence out there to improve our practice. 

"Examining the design of systems, processes and products is essential but we need to look beyond these and recognise the importance of understanding people.

"Errors will occur - it is part of human nature - but it is essential to respond in an open way, understand why the error has occurred and ensure actions are taken that we can learn from. This is crucial if we are to build confidence with staff and patients.

"Healthcare is unique in many ways, but we know there is a huge amount that we can learn from other industries and their approach to safety and transparency. I believe we also have many positive things we can share with others."

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