#GGI10th - GGI in 2010 - Patient safety for boards | Patient Safety for Boards| Good Governance Institute
Good Governance Institute 10 Years #GGI10th

GGI in 2010

Patient safety for boards


Patient safety is a key public health issue. Mortality and morbidity figures from adverse events, brought to healthcare leaders’ attention through key national policy documents such as Sir Liam Donaldson’s ‘Organisation with a Memory’ in 2000, showed that around 10% of all inpatient episodes were associated with an adverse event of some kind or other. Initially through a partnership with Datix, GGI has consistently been interested in ensuring the members of healthcare boards understand good practice around governing for safer care.

In 2010 GGI published ‘What every healthcare director needs to know about patient safety’, co-authored by Jonathan Hazan who at that time was Datix’s chief executive. The report laid out the scale and nature of the patient safety issues for board members, and made a series of recommendations for good practice by boards and included a sample template for a board report. GGI and Datix revisited and republished the report in 2016 when the principle author was Hilary Merrett, then Editor of the Royal Society of Medicine Journal ‘Clinical Risk’.

The report was developed through multiple interviews with board members and workshop sessions, which built on the significant volume of published evidence and policy. Whilst significant efforts have been made to support safer care at every level in the NHS, the report by GGI and Datix was the first directly aimed at non-executive board members and written entirely for the lay reader. It took patient safety back to the earliest roots of Florence Nightingale’s work in Crimea, and drew on some of the most contemporary tools available back in 2010 including ‘trigger-tools’, which were able to help identify hard to patients in the event of no adverse event reporting.

Jonathan Hazan went on to found the charity ‘Patient Safety Learning’ (PSL) which is dedicated to promoting safer care through sharing, learning and encouraging a safety culture.

PSL now shares an office with GGI in Lambeth and GGI and PSL work together to continue to empower boards to better govern patient safety. Hilary Merrett continues to provide expert advice and counsel to GGI, and works as a senior associate with GGI on many programmes of work with healthcare organisations.