“We believe that to grow a safety culture, people need to talk to each other freely and without judgement”

Suzette Woodward, national director of Sign up to Safety

Helping people talk about your Sign up to Safety pledges…

Commitment to the five pledges is what unites every member of Sign up to Safety, whether you work in a GP surgery, out in the community, in a pharmacy, on a ward or behind a desk.

These pledges are at the heart of your local patient safety work, and they underpin our approach at a national level too. As we learn more about the impact that values and behaviours have on working safely, we are keen to connect these to our on-going focus on how we talk to each other and how we can build a stronger safety culture.

Here are a few appreciative conversation starters that could help you find out more about what the pledges really mean to you and the people you work alongside.

This is all about looking for and celebrating the diversity of opinion and personal approaches that we each bring to the table when striving to work safely.  There are no right answers and rather the idea is to open up and really listen to one another.

We hope that these conversation starters could help you involve people, connect with them and build stronger relationships, and what you discover could even deeply enhance your plans with fresh insight and new ideas.

You can use these in whatever way suits you; during a kitchen table, in a team catch up, huddle, meeting, one to one or just to experiment when you’re having a chat.

These are just examples too so feel free to create your own and do share those with us via email or social media (using the hashtag #su2s) and we can share more widely to help others.

1. Putting safety first

Commit to helping people work safely

Can you share an example you admire of someone you have worked with putting safety first?

What does a commitment to helping people work safely look like to you?

How do you feel you show your commitment to working safely?

2. Continually learning

Listen and act on what we are hearing in our conversations with our staff, patients and families

Can you tell me about something you have heard recently that has changed the way you think about working safely?

Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your experience about working safely that you’d like to pass on to someone new starting out in their careers?

Is there a comment or thank you that has stayed with you and helped shape how you work with others?

3. Being honest

Create an environment where staff, patients, families can have open and honest conversations about what went wrong and what went well, free from judgement and be treated with kindness

What would help you feel comfortable to talk about patient safety issues you’re concerned about?

Tell me about something that went well this week and how you feel we could help that happen again?

Can you tell me of a time when a colleague’s kindness made a difference to you?

What does fair treatment feel like for you?

4. Collaborating

Create opportunities for conversations where all staff, regardless of their role or position and across geographical and professional boundaries, can share what they know about working safely to help others learn.

Think about a colleague that does a different job to you that you respect and tell me what it is you like about them

What does a ‘good safety culture’ mean to you?

Is there an aspect to how a colleague fulfils their job or role that you’ve always admired?

Who would you like to talk to about working safely that you haven’t had the chance to speak to yet?

5. Being supportive

Really listen to each other with kindness when support is needed and act on what has been said. Create opportunities to celebrate success, say thank you and spread joy.

Can you share an example of your time at work when you felt valued and supported to work safely?

Tell me about the strengths of your team and how that benefits your patients

What small action do you think we can do to help make the care we provide excellent?

Who would you like to thank and why?