Patient safety

Patients for Patient Safety Workshop, Perth, July 2009

Patients for Patient Safety Workshop, Perth, opening ceremony

The first Australian Patients for Patient Safety Workshop took place in Perth, Western Australia from July 7-9 2009. Forty health consumers, many of whom had experienced harm in health care, health providers and policy makers came together for three days to share their experiences, build partnerships, and develop strategies and action plans for taking patient safety forward in Australia.

On the first day of the workshop, within a safe, nurturing space, participants shared what had brought them together. Each participant spoke of how they had experienced harm in health care or how they had witnessed errors occur to patients. Participants spoke of what they had done to provide solutions to ensure that systems were changed so that the error did not happen again to someone else. In addition, they spoke about what their hopes were for the future for patient safety in Australia.

On the morning of the second day participants were oriented to WHO Patient Safety and Patients for Patient Safety. In the afternoon in small groups participants worked enthusiastically on key topics in patient safety and developed strategies and action plans to take patient safety forward.

On the third day these strategies and action plans were further developed and presented back to the Group. These included strategies and action plans for culture change to learn and prevent health care errors, for capacity building for patients and health providers to work in partnership for solutions to health care harm together, by establishing a formal network of people committed to patient safety.

One of the key outcomes from the workshop was the development of the Perth Declaration for Patient Safety, the participants collective call to action and vision for the future of patient safety in Australia. The Perth Declaration for Patient Safety was officially launched on August 5, 2009 at Parliament House in Perth. The Declaration is a collective call and commitment to make Patient Safety a priority within all areas of health care, to prevent health care harm, to ensure our experience informs positive change and to advance patient safety in partnership for co-creating safer care.

The Inaugural Australian Patients for Patient Safety Workshop was a collaboration between WHO Patient Safety – Patients for Patient Safety, Health Consumers Council WA, Western Australian Department of Health – Office of Safety and Quality in Health Care and Curtin University of Technology, Partnerships for Patient Safety and Patients for Patient Safety global champion Stephanie Newell, from Australia. Funders for the event included all Western Australian workshop partners, Lotterywest WA and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Participants from the Australian states of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia were funded by their respective State Government Department‘s of Health.