Approximately 1.3 million people work in the NHS. They provide health and social care for nearly 360 million people every year.
The vast majority of patients receive safe, compassionate care. However, sadly, an estimated 20,000 people will die every year due to ‘medical errors’. And some of these will be caused by human- error, which may be a result of overworked staff.
With increasing pressure and further financial challenges looming, what can we do to make sure standards do not fall? How do we make sure our patients are safe?
I believe we need to focus on staff happiness and wellbeing. We need to support each other better so that we can take care of ourselves and our patients.
Establishing a strong leadership team who are well-prepared to weather challenges can create a supportive and nurturing working environment.
Leaders who can inspire and make staff feel valued, create strong teams. They can help them to be proud of their work, which will maintain efforts during the difficult times and amidst negative headlines.
In our Trust, we found that by reinforcing a culture of patient safety and promoting staff happiness we could reduce ‘medical errors’ by 90%.
If others approached their workplace in the same way, I think this would help us all to provide better care for the people who need us, our patients and their loved ones.