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A national survey to explore the management of the safety alert broadcast system in the UK

Lankshear, Annette Jean, Lowson, K. V. and Saxby, R. C. 2008. A national survey to explore the management of the safety alert broadcast system in the UK. Clinical Governance 13 (3) , pp. 208-213. 10.1108/14777270810892629

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the management of the safety alert broadcast system (SABS) in England. Design/methodology/approach – This survey was part of a multi-method study which was undertaken over an 18-month period. The questionnaire was sent to every trust SABS liaison officer (SLO) (n=561) in England using the DH database. In total, 343 completed questionnaires were electronically returned, a response rate of 62 per cent. Findings – SABS is the means by which safety alerts from key agencies are electronically distributed to the NHS in England. Each organisation is required to have a named SLO who is required to acknowledge receipt on the Department of Health web site, indicate whether action is under way and finally confirm that action is complete. It offers a profile of this important segment of the workforce, over half of whom work in risk management, and 65 per cent of whom have no clinical background. Most spend very little of their working week managing the system itself, and are entirely dependent on the word of other managers to indicate that the trust has completed all action. Whilst the system is liked by the SLOs, concerns are expressed about the level of responsibility they are expected to assume. Practical implications – Trusts may wish to consider the role in the light of the increasing number and complexity of the alerts being managed. Originality/value – The paper offers a unique insight into the role and profile of those managing the interface between trusts and the patient safety team at the Department of Health.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patient care; Risk management; Health services; Clinical governance; National health service; United Kingdom
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1477-7274
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:21

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