News: NASA visit

NASA scientist visits NHSScotland to share patient safety lessons

Scientist led review into Space Shuttle Columbia accidentA photograph of Dr Nigel Packham
Dr Nigel Packham

Healthcare Improvement Scotland welcomed NASA Flight Safety Manager Dr Nigel Packham, who led the review into the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, to the Planetarium in Glasgow on Wednesday 8th November.

In a first for Scotland, the scientist addressed an audience of over 120 health professionals on how lessons from NASA’s research could be applied to health and social care in Scotland - focusing on minimising risk to patients and improving on the safety and quality of their experience in care.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland supports continuous improvement in health care and social care practice and this event is part of a series of seminars, several of which are taking place online, that aim to connect health and care professionals with improvement expertise from all over the world.

In collaboration with NHS boards across Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland has led in the development of the national approach to learning lessons in improving patient safety across hospitals, GP Practices and community services.

NASA is an organisation dedicated to learning and sharing information which could improve practices in other fields of work, including health and social care. This session will focus on risk management techniques using the Columbia accident as an example and will demonstrate how we can mitigate risks, learn from mistakes, and continuously improve the care that patients receive.

Dr Brian Robson, Medical Director, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:  “We were delighted to welcome Dr Packham to Scotland and to provide this unique learning opportunity for NHS and social care staff. The care we deliver aims to be amongst the best in the world, but sometimes things can go wrong.  We work with NHS Boards and Integration Joint Boards across Scotland to improve the management of patient safety and to share lessons regarding these events. This is crucial to continually improve person-centred, safe and effective delivery of care.”

The session has been recorded and will be provided as a future staff training resource to ensure the lessons are shared as widely as possible.

More information

  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland has been working with NHS boards across NHS Scotland to improve the effective management of patient safety.  In April 2015, Healthcare Improvement Scotland published the second edition of Learning from adverse events through reporting and review: A national framework for NHSScotland– this document is intended to support health and care providers effectively study and learn from times when things go wrong and drive improvements in care across Scotland.

Published date: 17 November 2017