Patient safety: an interview with Denise Chaffer

Date published




Denise Chaffer, Director of Safety and Learning at the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA), has shared her personal reflections on patient safety and the NHS LA’s aims regarding patient safety with Kennedys’ Healthcare Partner, Christopher Malla.

Full details of the discussion with Denise are set out in our summary of the interview. Topics discussed included:

  • Patient safety issues, including what ‘good patient safety’ looks like and the impact of the statutory duty of candour.
  • The role of the NHS LA and what the next three years will bring in terms of safety and learning.
  • Effective leadership, reviewing issues raised in Denise’s book, ‘Effective Leadership – A Cure for the NHS?’

Since the discussion took place, the NHS LA has appointed Dr Mike Durkin, NHS National Director for Patient Safety, NHS Improvement as an Associate Non-Executive Director to its Board. Speaking about the appointment, Ian Dilks, Chairman of the NHS LA stated:

“The purpose of Mike’s appointment is to augment the NHS LA Board by providing expert knowledge of patient safety in general, and national patient safety initiatives undertaken by NHS Improvement in particular, in support of the on-going work in reducing harm to patients. Patient safety is an increasing focus for the NHS LA. Learning from what goes wrong is the key to improving the quality of care in the NHS. It is also vital to improving the patient experience and reducing the costs of clinical negligence.”

We welcome Dr Durkin’s appointment, which further underlines the NHS LA’s commitment to patient safety issues.

Read the full summary of our interview with Denise.

Read other items in Healthcare Brief - November 2016