In early 2016 Pharmacy Voice ran an anonymous survey for all community pharmacy staff across the country to gather views on current patient safety incident reporting and learning processes in place.
Patient safety is a fundamental consideration for all frontline health professionals and their employers and at Pharmacy Voice we are committed to keeping a focus on promoting patient safety throughout all our work. We want to help ensure that community pharmacy staff have access to information and support on how to improve safety, and have the opportunity to share their knowledge on how pharmacy teams can improve patient experience and outcomes.
In 2015 we established a Patient Safety Group, who are passionate about driving the patient safety agenda for community pharmacy and developing practical solutions to issues that pharmacy teams encounter in their day to day working practice.
We have also been working at a national level to influence changes in policy and regulation that will help to improve patient safety by encouraging more reporting of patient safety incidents and improving feedback and learning.
To inform our work, we wanted to understand more about what patient safety culture and practice looks like across the community pharmacy sector at the moment, from the perspective of frontline teams, and also about any barriers to reporting.
Over 600 community pharmacy staff participated in the survey, from all different sized pharmacy businesses. The responses indicated that most people found internal incident reporting processes clear but time constraints and a fear of criminal prosecution were significant barriers in reporting when things have gone wrong.
We have used the results to shape our incident reporting principles and direct some of the work of our Patient Safety Group in changing safety culture across the sector. We will look into repeating the survey at a future date to measure our progress.