Improving Patient Safety Conference – October 2019


The Improving Patient Safety: New Horizons, New Perspectives (“IMPSAF”) conference in Leeds on 15th and 16th October 2019 was attended by over 250 delegates and brought together clinicians, academics and policy makers to discuss the latest patient safety research and quality improvement projects and methods. IMPSAF was a high energy, forward looking conference, focused on sharing knowledge and creating a new vision for patient safety research and practice. Its 25 interactive workshops/breakout sessions were interspersed with innovative, inspiring keynote speakers who represented the patient voice, academia, policy making and NHS clinicians. Interactive poster sessions for junior doctors, health professionals, PhD students and clinical leadership fellows allowed in-depth discussions about ongoing research and improvement projects.

Keynote speakers

The conference got off to an energetic start with a keynote talk by Suzette Woodward from the Department of Health and Social Care focussing on joy, positivity, gratitude and wellbeing, motivating the audience to be part of more positive and courteous workplaces. Philip Lewer, Chairman, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, offered reflections on the conference at the end of its first day and offered tips on communicating clearly about safety systems. Tessa Richards, Senior Editor, The British Medical Journal urged us to share ideas, decisions and power with patients and the public.

On day 2, Mary Dixon-Woods‘ keynote talk outlined the history of and implications around voice and safety in healthcare. Adam Kay, comedy writer and former obstetrics and gynaecology doctor, emphasised the importance of supporting staff who experience errors and trauma in healthcare, as well as keeping the audience laughing with highlights from his bestselling book ‘This is Going to Hurt’.

Download the slides here.

Breakout sessions

In addition to the headline talks, the conference offered a programme of 25 interactive workshops and breakout sessions. Reflected across the programme were a rich variety of themes including: staff wellbeing and patient safety links (A2; B3; C5; E4), innovating for patient safety (A4; B5; C3; D1; D3), involving patients in patient safety (C4; D4; E2), improving safety and quality of transitions for older adults (A1; F3). Safety in mental health (F4) also featured strongly, including, for example, a review of the practice of constant observations on inpatient wards. Safety in primary care (F2) targeted safety-netting for cancer and reducing opioid prescribing.


Podcasts from our conference 

Elly Russell(Student at the University of Lincoln) and Julie Gibson (Post Graduate Student at the University of Nottingham)

James Munro – Chief Executive, Care Opinion

Natasha Hardicre – Senior Research Fellow, Bradford Institute for Health Research

Sarah De-Biase – Improvement Associate, Improvement Academy

Sarah De-Biase – Improvement Associate, Improvement Academy

To view a short clip of Professor Rebecca Lawton promoting the Second Victim workshop (Day 1) please click here. Further information on this, and on many other topics featured at the conference, can be found on the Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre’s website.

Conference legacy

We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from delegates who particularly appreciated the mix of clinical, academic and policy delegates which enhanced the quality of conversations. They commented on the collaborative and friendly atmosphere. Some have shared what they have learnt with colleagues and are already planning new related projects.

A group of veterinary surgeons attended the conference, presenting posters of their work on patient safety in veterinary medicine, and contributing to a wellbeing4safety workshop held on day 1. Mark Turner, a small animal veterinary surgeon, with a particular interest in patient safety and quality improvement, summarised his experience of being part of the conference in this blog.

Look out for our next conference in 2022! We look forward to welcoming you then.

For further information, contact us on or follow us on Twitter @IMPSAF2019

A special thanks to our fantastic sponsors who contributed to the conference