Healthcare is a risky business. While the maxim ‘first, do no harm’ is a fundamentally important precept, and the aim of a ‘zero harm’ care environment is a laudable one, no healthcare system will ever be completely harm free. How the needs and interests of patients and professionals are managed in the aftermath of healthcare harm is therefore a significant, but largely overlooked, aspect of care quality.
This week, Murray Anderson-Wallace and Dr Suzanne Shale presented their work in this critical area at a special Cumberland Lodge Colloquium. Sponsored by the the Wellcome Trust and endorsed by the Open Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, a mixed audience of medics, ethicists, academic researchers, policy-makers and expert patients debated issues associated with “The Many Meanings of Quality in Healthcare”.
Drawing upon Anderson-Wallace’s extensive work with patients, families and professionals and Shale’s research into the moral experience of NHS medical directors (published as “Moral Leadership in Medicine: Building Ethical Healthcare Organisations” Cambridge UP 2012) they presented their latest thinking around six “standards” for practice using extracts from Alexandra’s Story – one film in the ‘Testimony’ series produced by PATIENTSTORIES – to illustrate their work.
A storify has been created for the Colloquium which can be viewed here.
A book of abstracts can be downloaded via the Cumberland Lodge website.