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Northumbria University patient safety research receives global acclaim

Research being led by Northumbria University into patient safety in Europe has been highlighted in multiple award-winning papers, providing international acclaim for the project.

The SLIPPS (Shared Learning from Practice to improve Patient Safety) project seeks to improve patient safety and education across the continent in a range of clinical settings and is led by Northumbria University’s Professor Alison Steven, a Reader in Health Professions Education.

The team also includes Northumbria University’s Professor Pauline Pearson, as well as colleagues from seven leading universities and five associated health and social care institutions in Finland, Italy, Spain and Norway.

Written on behalf of the SLIPPS team, two separate papers have won notable international awards.

SLIPPS is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and draws on the real experiences of health and social care students in work placements across five European countries.

With errors, mishaps and misunderstandings common and around one in 10 patients suffering avoidable harm, the SLIPPS education and research project is seeking to improve patient safety education across Europe.

Professor Steven has a long-held interest in the use of education to raise standards of care and ensure patient safety which, in light of the rapid spread of coronavirus, has made the improving of patient safety and standards of care across Europe and beyond even more important.

Professor Steven said: “Patient safety is paramount in these extreme circumstances.

“The SLIPPS project is unique in that it taps into students’ experiences. These students on practice placements have the potential to offer fresh perspectives on clinical practices, and with so many final-year students treating patients on the front line during this global pandemic, their current views on patient safety are more important than ever.”

The project utilises real-life experiences and students’ reflections on them as the basis for a range of educational resources which feed into an open access virtual learning centre for international, multi-professional learning about patient safety.

The virtual learning tool provides the researchers with vital data used to inform further studies and create all-important educational resources such as simulation scenarios and virtual seminars that are based on real-life events.

A key feature of the tool is that it enables students not only to anonymously describe, but importantly to reflect in a structured way on any patient safety-related experiences they have.

Professor Pearson added: “We are delighted and honoured to receive both accolades for work carried out on behalf of the SLIPPS project.

“Although funding for the three-year project has ended, the website, resources and database is still available and will be for several years to come. Students have responded very positively to the project. We’ve been able to develop educational resources that have been embedded in our own curriculum and in some or our European partners’ curricula too.”


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