The Sign up to Safety culture team

The team have run Sign up to Safety, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), since 2014.  Our work has focused on helping people think differently about patient safety and what we mean by a safety culture.

Around 98% of the NHS in England joined the campaign and we have learnt a great deal.  We hope that our fresh thinking has challenged the way people think and will perhaps change the way we do things in relation to patient safety.

We know now that achieving patient safety is not about short-term projects to reduce individual harms; it is much, much more than that. There are emerging theories (safety II), the world of behavioural insights, positivity and positive deviance, learning from excellence and addressing behaviours such as incivility.  There is also a deeper understanding developing of the learning and restorative just culture that healthcare needs.  This is a wonderful time to be working in safety.

Suzette Woodward

Suzette has been in the NHS for nearly forty years with at least half of that specialising in patient safety.  Her clinical expertise is in paediatric intensive care nursing.  She has a Masters in Clinical Risk and a Doctorate in Patient Safety.  Former roles include Director of Patient Safety at the National Patient Safety Agency and Executive Director of Safety and Learning at NHS Resolution.  She is an author of a book titled ‘Rethinking Patient Safety’ and her expertise includes patient safety science, implementation science, social movements, behavioural change and the just culture.

Dane Wiig

Dane has work in patient safety for over a decade.  He was the patient safety campaign manager for the Patient Safety First campaign, which led to a variety of patient safety roles at the National Patient Safety Agency and the National Patient Safety Team at NHS England (now NHS Improvement).  Dane has also worked at the Department of Health, digital communication roles in New Zealand and was worked in dotcom start-ups in the late 90’s including lastminute.com.  Dane’s expertise is in connecting strategy and theory to reality, making information accessible, communications and operations.

Cat Harrison

Cat’s work focuses on the role of language and behaviour in working safely, how this links with just culture and staff wellbeing, and the evolving understanding of what a safety culture is in practice across an organisation.

She has worked in leading PR agencies where she devised and delivered engagement campaigns for both the private sector (Unilever, Church & Dwight) and public bodies (Department of Health, NHS Blood & Transplant, HMRC). She then moved into the charity sector where she honed her skills in developing programmes of activity designed to educate, influence behaviour and drive involvement.

Her first foray into Patient Safety was back in 2008 when she ran the press office for Patient Safety First. In 2014 she was invited to join the Sign up to Safety Team where she introduced a different sort of engagement approach for an NHS campaign of this type, one which prioritised tone and language, and focused on action, positivity and celebration.

In 2015-2016 she chaired a strategic advisory group of communications professionals, working with organisations and programmes including NHS England, NHS Improvement, Q and HEE to share plans and key messages relating to patient safety.

In 2018 she played a role in the development of the #QIComms Charter launched at IHI in Amsterdam 2018, which aims to help drive improvement and change in quality improvement through strategic communications.

Adam Mohamed

Adam is the team campaign and communications coordinator. He is an NCTJ accredited journalist who came to the campaign after having been an online reporter for two national newspapers. From attending conferences and workshops over the last 18 months, and speaking with countless people about their work, he has built up a strong practical knowledge of patient safety and the theory that underpins current thinking.