MKUH Patient Safety Team Highly Commended at prestigious HSJ Patient Safety Awards

Date: 02/11/2022

A photo of the patient safety specialists at MKUH, Anna O'Neill and Anna Costello

MKUH Patient Safety Specialists, Anna O’Neill (left) and Anna Costello (right)

The Patient Safety team at Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) has been Highly Commended for Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022.

With quality and safety firmly at the heart of patient care – and with a sector-wide commitment to demonstrating best practice and sharing pragmatic ideas and solutions – there has never been a better time for teams and individuals to showcase their achievements. As in all previous years, the detailed assessment process was overseen by an extensive and impressive range of highly respected stakeholders from across the UK healthcare community.

The MKUH SAFE (Support and Action Following Events) pilot project is a new approach to responding to and reviewing incidents where the focus is on supporting those involved and highlighting learning opportunities. By applying appreciative inquiry principles, SAFE ensures all voices are heard including staff, patients, and their carers. It explores what really matters to people and encourages co-design of change ideas driven by those who are providing and receiving care in that environment. As such, the judging panel felt the project was hugely deserving of its Highly Commended recognition.

On being awarded this accolade, the patient safety team at MKUH, commented, “What a thrill and honour for our work to have been recognised in this way! It means so much to everyone involved to have been Highly Commended in the Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year category, especially at a time when there is such a positive and collective focus on patient safety.

“The openness of staff, patients and carers involved in the SAFE pilot project has been amazing. Key system issues have been noted which could not have been identified without the help of staff who have been generous with both their time and information.

“Patients and carers have welcomed the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences, and the patient voice has provided a different, and often surprising, perspective. One can be quick to assume what worries or concerns patients, and can therefore miss the mark when suggesting safety and quality improvements. Instead, the thoughts of patients have been heard and shared with the teams proving their care, encouraging staff to collaborate with one another and make changes in their areas”.

This award gives us a fantastic incentive to keep pushing forward with patient safety innovation – as well as feeling inspired by our colleagues from across the sector who have also demonstrated such commitment to doing all they can to improve the patient experience.”

The Awards ceremony plays a key part in the 2-day HSJ Patient Safety Congress, which took place on 24 & 25 October. Chair of the 2022 Congress is Shaun Lintern, Health Editor of the Sunday Times. He comments; “Everybody has a role in patient safety. And, the Congress really is for everybody, whatever their position or level within their organisation. I hope that the HSJ Patient Safety Awards – which was such a highlight, at the end of day one of the Congress – felt inclusive and empowering for all our colleagues. I’d like to offer my congratulations to the Patient Safety team at MKUH on being Highly Commended for the Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year at this year’s Awards.”

For more information about the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022 visit: