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Podcast ep. 44 - What does patient safety actually mean with Tom Bell

For episode 44 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Tom Bell, who has held management roles in the public, private and third sector – working specifically with the NHS in digital, telehealth and now as a patient safety partner.

Tom offered his insight into what patient safety actually means for the NHS, the make-up of the NHS when it comes to patient safety, how data can factor into decision-making, and what the future could/should look like.

“The lack of data in the NHS is criminal – if I wind you back through the mists of time, when I worked for Carlsberg at the turn of the century, we had access to lots of data about lots of things,” explained Tom.

He continued: “I could sit at my desk and download, in almost real time, who’d bought what, which accounts were up, which accounts were down, which were in profit etc. – that data was there. That was a company, albeit a large company and very well-run company, that was selling sugary alcoholic liquid…

“When I came into the NHS a number of years later, I remember saying to my director of strategy, ‘Where’s the dashboard I can access?’ and he looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili.”

Listen to the full podcast above to learn more about the possibilities for the NHS.

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