World Patient Safety Day 2020 – comment by Chris Kenny, CEO of MDDUS

Marking World Patient Safety Day (17 September 2020), MDDUS CEO Chris Kenny explains how we promote safe patient care

World Patient Safety Day is an opportunity for everyone involved in delivering healthcare to reflect on how to mitigate any risks, potential errors and harms when treating a patient.

MDDUS is a medical defence specialist and we understand that risk management is key to helping our medical and dental members avert problems in the first place.

That’s why risk management training is one of the core services we offer, both to support our members and also to help them understand and adapt to the challenges of modern practice.

Supporting safe practice sits prominently within our values. We’re really proud of our record and extensive experience in working with doctors and dentists, advising them on how to manage risk, and how taking a proactive approach can in turn can influence harm reduction.

Expert advice from MDDUS aimed at preventing harm in the first place is also carried across our range of our publications, e-learning modules, webinars and conference lectures.

Chris Kenny | MDDUS

"Supporting safe practice sits prominently within our values. We’re really proud of our record and extensive experience in working with doctors and dentists, advising them on how to manage risk, and how taking a proactive approach can in turn can influence harm reduction."

 

We offer professionalism courses that aim to make clinicians more aware of the regulatory expectations on them. We look at the role of doctors and dentists in raising and responding patient safety concerns. While at the other end of the spectrum, we also offer tips on how to how respond to health or wellbeing issues within teams and how to comply with the duties of candour to patients and other bodies when safety incidents do occur.

Health worker safety

Patient safety has fallen under the spotlight in recent years following several serious and high-profile cases, at both an individual and organisational level.

In the wake of these, MDDUS engaged actively with regulators and legislators seeking to play an active role in the efforts to learn lessons from these events. We are proud of our record in working cooperatively and collaboratively with the Government as it set about implementing improvements.

That’s why we welcome the theme of this year’s World Patient Safety Day – health worker safety. Only by working in safe environments can healthcare workers be empowered to deliver safe and effective treatment to their patients.

COVID-19 has placed additional, unique pressure on healthcare systems worldwide, and this in turn has produced real-life consequences for the people working in them. A recent BMA survey found that 45% of doctors in the UK had experienced stress, burnout and exhaustion.

In our view, it’s never been more important for doctors and dentists to look after their own wellbeing so they can look after their patients safely.

We strongly believe that safer outcomes for patients can be achieved through helping our members in senior roles to understand the impact of reduced wellbeing and its associated behaviours.

Building foundations for the future

We’ve enhanced our body of existing guidance and training to ensure it’s relevant to the ongoing pandemic, and we’ve got more than 40 virtual training sessions available between now and the end of the year. In particular, we’ve developed a range of practical leadership and team-working courses.

As we move through the peak of COVID-19, it will be vital that everyone involved in delivering healthcare – including regulators – puts in place a strong foundation for learning lessons, supporting teams, showcasing best practice and improving patient safety in a post-COVID world. By working together we can ensure that the best outcomes are achieved for patients.

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