Publish date: 06 July 2023

A new collaboration hosted at UCLH to research patient safety and a new theme of the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in critical and perioperative care have been launched at a well-attended event.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Central London Patient Safety Research Collaboration (PSRC) and the Critical and Perioperative Care (CPC) theme of the BRC aim to improve patient care and safety in acute and critical care, surgical care and perioperative care settings. Perioperative care is care given at and around the time of surgery.

More than 25 million patients are treated in acute, critical, surgical and perioperative care settings in the NHS each year. These are among the highest risk areas of clinical care, due to the seriousness of the patients’ conditions and the complex nature of clinical decision making. In these settings, speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment are vital.

Research teams in the BRC and the PSRC will develop and evaluate new interventions in diverse areas, including surgical precision, antimicrobial therapies, healthcare-related environmental sustainability and digital tools including wireless wearables.

The PSRC will also help the NHS become safer for patients through the development of innovative approaches to organisational learning, and to how clinical evidence is generated.

A PSRC learning academy will also support the next generation of patient safety researchers through a comprehensive programme of funding, mentoring and peer support.

The PSRC and CPC BRC theme are led by UCLH consultant and UCL academic Professor Ramani Moonesinghe, who is also National Clinical Director for Critical and Perioperative Care at NHS England. UCLH Critical Care and Anaesthetics consultant Dr David Brealey co-leads the BRC theme with Professor Moonesinghe.

Guest speakers at the event included UCLH Chief Executive David Probert, who highlighted the importance of improving patient safety, the potential to build on past improvements introduced at UCLH and the wider NHS, and his experience of advocating for and introducing measures to improve safety over many years.

Aidan Fowler, NHSE National Director of Patient Safety and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said everyone in the NHS must work together to proactively improve patient safety and deliver positive outcomes for patients.

And Dame Emily Lawson, Head of the No10 Delivery Unit and previously Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid vaccine rollout in 2020-22, outlined her experience of overcoming logistical challenges in the vaccine roll out programme and what can be learned from this experience in rolling out measures to improve patient safety.

Professor Moonesinghe, who introduced the vision and strategy of the PSRC and CPC theme at the event, said: “We were delighted to launch the PSRC and CPC BRC theme in the company of colleagues across UCL, UCLH and the wider NHS. Our expert teams from many different disciplines at UCLH and UCL will conduct highly innovative work in clinical areas that are high risk and in ways that will benefit so many patients with acutely and serious illness and injury.”