“I am constantly inspired by the work of Sign up to Safety. I share their vision for a kind, supportive and appreciative workplace culture which enables staff to feel safe and work safely. Their newsletters give me ideas for practical ways I can work towards this and their Twitter campaigns inspire and motivate, especially #kind2018. I hope the Learning from Excellence team can work more closely with the Sign up to Safety team in the future.”
Dr. Emma Plunkett, Consultant Anaesthetist and co-founder of Learning from Excellence
Sign up to Safety is a national patient safety campaign announced by the Secretary of State for Health. It launched on 24 June 2014, with the aspiration to bring organisations together behind a common purpose; to create the conditions for making care safer.
We certainly hit a chord. We started with just 12 but before we knew it, we had grown and grown. We’re now a community of over 500 practices and organisations from across the NHS and beyond.
Although our day to day work to make care safer may differ from person to person, we all want the same thing; to help the right safety culture grow and flourish.
What makes our approach different is our belief that the world of patient safety is changing.
There’s a groundswell of individuals and organisations thinking differently about what it means and how to take positive steps to improve the care we provide, wherever we work and whatever we do. There is a move from the current era of Safety I to the new era of Safety II, where safety is everybody’s responsibility.
Sign Up to Safety is the surge behind this swell, making this a practical reality. We believe that a positive and empowering approach should be the norm, not the exception.
We’re offering a fresh approach to patient safety. An approach that isn’t just about data and isn’t just about hitting targets. An approach that gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to connect with each other as people, and to build an understanding of what will work where they are.
We are shifting the language and conversation from a relentless focus on what doesn’t work, what must stop, what is going wrong. And instead we are helping people consider what it is that helps so many of our interactions with patients go right in what is a complex and ever changing system.
How do people adjust what they do to keep their patients safe, how do they react to challenging circumstances, how do they interpret procedures to match the conditions? How do they ensure that the number of intended and acceptable outcomes is as high as possible?
But we also know that we are still far from this in many places. Over the course of the campaign, we have heard loud and clear that it is a struggle in people’s busy work day to develop relationships, a struggle to speak up and a struggle to be heard.
Our work has led us to believe that conversations done well can make the difference, so our focus centres on moving people from theory to action by helping people talk to each other about working safely.
To us, this means conversations where people have a chance to speak, to be listened to, to feel heard and understood.
We believe, simply, the route to a strong safety culture lies in encouraging our members to pay attention to how they talk to each other, the excellence in care that surrounds them every day, and the importance of kindness, respect and humility.
Read about each member of the Sign up Safety Culture Team here. You can find more information, research and evidence on our approach here: