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03
Sep

Views invited on IPSIS


The Department of Health is inviting views from a range of stakeholders about the operation of the new Independent Patient Safety Investigations Service (IPSIS), which will operate from April 2016.

IPSIS will offer support and guidance to NHS organisations on investigations into serious patient safety incidents and will also carry out its own investigations. An Expert Advisory Group, EAG, has been set up to make recommendations on how the service should work and is seeking views on five themes:

* Independence, governance and accountability

* Engagement and transparency

* What IPSIS should investigate

* Supporting improvement and learning

* People, skills, operation

The EAG will be chaired by Dr Mike Durkin, Director of Patient Safety, NHS England. “I believe that IPSIS will set a path by leading innovation in the way we investigate incidents in healthcare so that patients and their families get effective answers to their questions in an improved and timely fashion,” Dr Durkin says. “At present we do not have a consistent system for investigations that can be used across all health providers.”

He continues, “Our focus must be on ensuring there is an acknowledgement and responsibility for learning from error and seeking continuous improvement with trust, honesty and respect for each other at the core of our individual and organisational behaviour.”

Dr Durkin has already started his work and reports on conversations he has held with people already affected by the harm they, or a friend or family member, may have experienced. This, he says, is often “compounded by an inability for the organisation to recognise the impact of this harm and, at best, to poorly investigate the facts.”

He confirms his wish to continue to work with individuals as well as professionals within the health service. “Quite rightly, I have already been challenged to make sure that we do this in a genuine way that will ensure patients and service users and their families can share their views and ideas with the advisory group. Equally, it is vital to hear from health and care professionals and understand the full implications for them as part of their professional roles and their day-to-day working lives.”

Views are being gathered via an online questionnaire.

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