Patient Safety Specialists

The requirement for NHS organisations in England to identify one or more person as their designated Patient Safety Specialist(s) is a key part of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy

The majority of NHS trusts, foundation trusts and CCGs have now completed the process of identifying their Patient Safety Specialists, who will lead on patient safety across their organisation.

These specialists work full time as patient safety experts, providing dynamic, senior leadership, visibility and support. In addition, they will support the development of a patient safety culture, safety systems and improvement activity.

Specialists will also soon begin working in networks with Patient Safety Specialists from other organisations to share good practice and learn from each other, making them fundamental to patient safety across the NHS in England.

Ultimately each Patient Safety Specialist will be fully trained in the national patient safety syllabus.

Supporting organisations to identify Patient Safety Specialist(s)

Organisations yet to identify their Patient Safety Specialists, or that wish to replace or add additional specialists, should follow the process below.

The relevant executive director with responsibility for patient safety should send an email to explaining whether the new Patient Safety Specialist is the first person their organisation has identified for this post, is replacing someone who is currently in post, or being appointed in addition to existing Patient Safety Specialists.

The email should provide name, email and contact number for the person they are identifying, as well as, where appropriate, those of the person they are replacing. They will also need to confirm that the Identifying Patient Safety Specialists document has been considered in this process. It will also be helpful if they can include the current job title and pay band of any new Patient Safety Specialists, on the understanding that this information will not be shared more widely.

The  Identifying Patient Safety Specialists document is designed to support NHS organisations in identifying individuals with the right skills and experience to take on the role as a Patient Safety Specialist. The document outlines the purpose of Patient Safety Specialists, the key requirements of the role, and how we expect them to work in their own organisation, as well as with local, regional and national partners.

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