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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Aug;21(4):593-607. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Embedding quality improvement and patient safety at Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust.

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  • 1Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK.


The provision of safe high-quality care in obstetrics and gynaecology is a key target in the UK National Health Service (NHS), in part because of the high cost of litigation in this area. Good risk management processes should improve safety and reduce the cost of litigation to the NHS. This chapter looks at structures and processes for improving quality and patient safety, using the stepwise approach described by the National Patient Safety Authority (NPSA). This encompasses building a safety culture, leading and supporting staff, integrating risk management activity, promoting reporting, involving and communicating with patients and the public, learning and sharing safety lessons, and implementing solutions to prevent harm. Examples from the Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust are used to illustrate these steps, including how they were developed, what obstacles had to be overcome, ongoing challenges, and whether good risk management has translated into better, safer health care.

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