Patient Safety

Leader: Iqbal Singh Sanjay Arya


The Special Interest Group (SIG) will be specific forum which provides members with an opportunity to share ideas or network on the discussion forum, exchange views and share best practice with their peers and to develop policy positions and scientific papers. Joining a SIG enables the members to: make valuable contacts, gain insight into topical, relevant and challenging issues in specialist areas, further develop their knowledge and apply their additional knowledge and new contacts to drive improvement in the performance of the SIG and the society as a whole.

Specifically, the SIG on Patient Safety aims to:

  • Provide members with an opportunity to network with other members in order to make valuable contacts, enhance the discussion of challenging issues and to facilitate the exchange of ideas.
  • Support members in the development of policy positions.
  • Promote the role, influence and acceptance of the SIG and the society as a whole as an important player in the field of safety in older patients.
  • Create co-operation with other stakeholders and organisations, to develop statements and research projects to benefit the treatment of older and frail patients.
  • Disseminating expertise and knowledge, starting from the experience of existing excellence centres in Europe.
  • Participate in European research programs and project interventions.

Relevance for the purposes of the EuGMS:

The incidence and episodes around avoidable harm can have devastating consequences for patients, their families, for the staff involved in their care and for other agencies involved. The human cost of some of these episodes is immeasurable.  Occurrences such as Mid-Staffs have a huge impact on the morale of caring staff and are a clear sign that it is time for action to be taken and lessons to be learned.  The Commission for Education and Safety in Training (UK) in its report recommended that 'all staff should develop the skills to be able to identify potential risks to come up with possible solutions and to be able to implement them' (2016).

The UK context and the demographics are very relevant and in many cases are mirrored across Europe. In the context of the care of older people, we are living in a society where people are living longer and healthier with improvements in their quality of life and this is clearly a success.

We need a new approach to address the issues around improving safety in hospitals, in nursing and residential care homes and in the wider community.  We still have a huge ongoing challenge around falls and frailty, pressure ulcers and VTE, dementia and mental illness and around nutrition and medicine management. There also is the need for providing medical, nursing and social care that is compassionate and caring and that treats people with dignity and respect.

Chairpersons/contact coordinates:

Professor Iqbal Singh OBE FRCP
Chair – Centre of Excellence in Safety for Older People
Acorn Health Centre, Blackburn Road, Accrington, Lancashire, England BB5 1RT

Dr Sanjay Arya
Medical Director Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan WN6 9EP


Number of Members – 25

Expected method of work:

The Group will have a focus on a wide range of activities with a special focus on improving skills, knowledge, behaviours and attitudes and also improving the safety and quality of care with compassion, dignity and respect embedded in all aspects.

The most relevant activities and outputs will be presented at the Improving Safety in Older People (ISIOP) and EuGMS conferences.

Specifically on human factors the Group will focus on building professionalism, behaviour and attitudes change and embed basic principles of human factors across all aspects of education and training.

Working on a specific project in relation to providing guidance and sharing best practice on diabetes in frail older people from diverse communities.

First expected outcome and approximate date of completion:

Produce guidance on patient safety in hospital and community settings with a focus on dignity, compassion and respect.

The Group will lead on raising the profile of safety in healthcare and social care across the whole pathway in hospital, care homes and communities and act as an impetus for similar developments nationally and across Europe and globally. The Group will raise the profile and awareness of the link between safety , quality and compassion and help develop  a culture where patient and older people harm is forever reduced by embracing wholeheartedly an ethic of learning. Recognising that a major way of achieving this breadth and depth of change is that every member of staff has an understanding and commitment to deliver safety.

Way of communication among members:

Face to face meetings and emails, web and social media.

Planning of meetings:

Next Meeting 18th EuGMS International Congress, London September 28-30 - SIG Collateral Meeting - OPEN - SEPT 29th from 05.30pm to 06.30pm UK TIME

17th EuGMS International Congress, Athens October 11-13 - SIG Collateral Meeting - private meeting (SIG members only)- OCT 12th from 05.30pm to 06.30pm CEST

16th EuGMS International Congress, Athens October 7-9

At EuGMS 2021 (London)

There are plans to have at least one meeting per year at different venues – to be arranged through EuGMS secretariat and regular contact through email, correspondence, sharing of activities and promoting safety.  The meeting notifications will be send to all the membership at least three weeks prior, along with an agenda and related paperwork.