Healthcare Professionals


Why is a guide for patients and carers important and relevant to patient safety?

Communication is a key aspect of healthcare that underpins diagnosis, treatment and management for patient care and is a fundamental area of healthcare quality and safety (Institute of Medicine, 2015).

Communicating effectively is an essential part of care and patient safety. Engaging patients and carers in diagnosis, shared decision making, and management of illnesses or conditions is a core component of patient safety.

These approaches have been advocated by healthcare organisations and patient advocacy groups globally (WHO, 2017) and within the UK.

In the past, patients and carers have not been actively involved in their patient safety. Engaging, empowering and hearing patients and carers throughout the whole care system is a core recommendation from the Berwick report to improve patient safety in the English NHS (Berwick, 2013).

Patient safety is everyone’s responsibility and means different things to different people. This guide is aimed at supporting patients and carers to help prevent or reduce incidents.

In order to do this, patients and carers need the tools and the support to be more involved in the process, and the organisations and healthcare professionals need to provide a supportive environment.

This guide has been developed to be complementary to communication and governance training given to healthcare professionals, e.g. Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

This guide and the forms contained within it are resources which have been developed with GPs, pharmacists, patients and carers.

They are designed to help patients and carers to identify key questions they might need to ask. This will help to support them to be collaboratively involved in their patient safety.

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University of Manchester
Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust
Funded by NIHR