Just Ask Me

Your question is the start of something.

Using the hashtag #justaskme on Twitter we’re calling on each and every one of you to answer a simple question…

What one question would you like someone to ask you when you’re next at work?

Every conversation starts with a question. From a simple “how is your week shaping up?” which might reveal when someone is overloaded and stressed, to an open, honest challenge which could lead to a process being reconsidered, asking questions triggers conversations that could help make patients safer.

That is what #justaskme is all about. We want to encourage more open communication across the NHS, to open up the space for vital conversations to happen – conversations that could lead to healthier, happier staff and ultimately safer patients.

We know that talking and listening sit at the heart of patient safety. It’s through sharing our individual stories, identifying commonalities and seeing where the overarching challenges lie that we get to know, trust and understand each other. And that’s when real change happens.

We want people to talk to each other about what they know about keeping people safer

We’d like you, your teams, your frontline staff and your managers to get involved and tell us ‘what one question would you like someone to ask you when you’re next at work?’

We know asking and answering questions about patient safety isn’t always easy. But the more we talk, the more we share, the more we learn from each other – the better it will get.

We see this as just the start. Over the coming months, we’ll be building on your questions to add to our collective understanding of the ‘implementation gap’ – the gap that exists between the result that all the instruction, guidance and research leads us to expect to see when we embark on work to keep people safer, and what we actually see in practice. Ultimately we want to help you learn more about what needs to happen to achieve your safety aspirations.

We’d love you to encourage your staff to get involved with #justaskme too. Here’s some help with that;

Learn more about #justaskme and why we want people to talk to each other about keeping people safer

  • To get involved in #justaskme simply answer ‘what one question would you like someone to ask you when you’re next at work?’ on twitter using the hashtag #justaskme and @signuptosafety.
  • Find out more about Conversations as the foundations for a safety culture to understand more about the power of this fundamental and simple approach to how we relate to each other
  • Keeping people safer – read more about our plans for this third year of Sign up to Safety and how we hope they will help you succeed in your aspirations for keeping people safer.
  • Closing the implementation gap – We know there is a gap between what we know improves patient safety and what is actually done in practice. This blog by Suzette Woodward explains Sign up to Safety hopes to challenge the current thinking around what it takes to make care safer
  • Tools to Talk<link to https://vimeo.com/185779821> – Talking about what you know about keeping people safer through reflective writing & more. This 15 minute video highlights the huge opportunity for change that comes from active listening & reflective talking and writing and provides practical tips and advice.
  • Getting beneath the surface – Suzette recalls our event from October 2015 where we explored a new approach to having safety conversations, to try and really get beneath the surface and discover what gets in the way of keeping people safer
  • Safer conversations about safety – We hosted a conversation between a group of clinicians and a mixed group of policy-makers and patients to try to understand what it feels like to be part of an investigation, from all perspectives. It turns out that we all want the same thing.
  • Understanding the implementation gap – David Naylor, senior consultant at King’s Fund and special advisor to Sign up to Safety, has written a paper in the Journal of Social Work practice that looks at what we learnt from our event in October 2015 where we explored the implementation gap and what it might take to narrow it.
  • What are your safety conversations like? – Head of Quality at University Hospitals Bristol, Anne Reader tells us about how a spontaneous conversation on safety turned out to be one of her best and wonders what other peoples’ conversations are like.
  • How conversations can lead you somewhere new – In this interview, Karen Taylor, Head of Patient Safety and Governance at Somerset CCG, tells us how in developing an entry for one of our competitions, she realised the added value brought to her campaign by talking with as many people as possible about her work.
  • Why don’t we talk about safety? – GP, Dr Helen Prince, gives us an in-depth look at her own experience trying to speak about safety with her Patient Participation Group (PPG), the challenges she faced and where she is now.