World Patient Safety Day 2023 is observed on 17 September, and this year the theme is "Engaging patients for patient safety", in recognition of the crucial role patients, families and caregivers play in the safety of health care. 

Evidence shows that when patients are treated as partners in their care, significant gains are made in safety, patient satisfaction and health outcomes. By becoming active members of the health care team, patients can contribute to the safety of their care and that of the health care system as a whole.

To mark the day, staff from across the Trust have shared what they do to engage those they look after to support and improve patient safety.

"We speak and engage with patients every day. From when we greet them outside the hospital entrances to when they leave after their appointments or hospital stays. It is important that they know we are there to not only keep them safe but also support them through talking through any queries and concerns they have."the SASH security team

“At East Surrey Hospital, the role of a Hospital Porter extends far beyond the simple act of transportation. Porters play an important role in patient safety and keep the hospital running. With every corridor they navigate and door they open, they ensure that patients are where they need to be for crucial treatments, that life-saving equipment arrives at its destination, and that essential supplies are always at hand. Their tireless dedication is felt deeply by the patients and staff. In their hands, a potentially overwhelming hospital stay becomes an orchestrated care journey. This is how we support patient safety, by putting the wellbeing and comfort of every patient at the centre of what we do.” – Craig Hargest, Facilities Assistant Manager

“When I transfer a patient, I always ensure the patient is comfortable. If they need additional oxygen, I make sure that I check if a transfer nurse needs to accompany us. I always follow the health and safety policy of the Trust. We really get to know patients as we get them from A to B. Talking to them can make them feel better and it feels good knowing you make a difference to them.”  – Simon Bell, Porter

“Safety is at the very centre of everything we do for the patients and families who interact with the safeguarding team. Our primary focus is to ensure that the patient themselves feel safe, not only whilst in our care but on discharge back to their home and their community.” – Vicky Abbott, nurse consultant for safeguarding

“In Theatres and Recovery we support patient safety by actively encouraging our patients to share information. As a team we can use this information to continuously improve our service.” - Kelly Doughton, Head of Theatres


“The catering team at SASH pride themselves in providing safe, quality food to patients, staff and visitors. We see food and drink as medicine and are constantly improving what we provide from patient feedback. Our aim is to make sure patients have a positive experience with healthy, nutritious and sustainable food and drink.” – SASH catering team

“We are always engaging with our patients and their families to provide an outstanding experience and support safe maternity care. Recently, we received some feedback about our chairs on Burstow postnatal ward and how they were not ideal in supporting new mothers in their feeding journeys. We listened to this feedback and also worked collaboratively with our estates team to make improvements to our ward environment. We now have new comfortable supportive chairs to better enable new mothers to feed their babies in a welcoming environment.”Louise Frost, head of midwifery

“Our team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians talk to all our patients admitted to the hospital to make sure that their regular medicines are prescribed correctly. Our patients can help with this by making sure they always bring their medicines into hospital with them and telling us if they are experiencing any side effects.” – Jo Rhodes, Head of Pharmacy

"Our ward is committed to improving the malnutrition of the elderly patients who come to the hospital. Most of the elderly patients who are admitted to the ward have been found to be malnourished, with high Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool scores on admission. The team has a commitment to improve patient safety by putting certain measures in place, such as red trays to alert staff of patients needing assistance in eating and drinking, early referral to the dietician and offering extra snacks and food at any time of the day and night. The ward has designed a ‘nutritional visual board’ so that all the staff including ward hosts and hostesses, are aware of malnourished patients needing extra food or snacks. Next of kin (NOK) are encouraged to partake in feeding patients who are living with dementia to support them, and social dining in the bays at lunch time is done to provide a sociable environment. As a result, patients’ wellbeing is much improved." - Mina Dris-Harrid, Ward Manager, IRU Elderly Ward

It's so important that our patients and local people can have their say and help shape the services we provide now and in the future. Join our people’s panel – our new patient and public involvement network – and have your say on our services at East Surrey hospital, Crawley, Horsham and Caterham Dene.,We want as many people as possible, including young people, and those from a minority or protected characteristic group, to get involved and have their say.