Patient Safety

Anaesthesia is a high-risk specialty and Anaesthetists have been preoccupied with patient safety long before recent developments focusing on safety in medical practice.

Practice routines, protocols and equipment design have been incorporated into the fabric of anaesthesia for some five decades. The Anaesthetic curriculum emphasises the importance of safe practice for all trainees.

Wessex Anaesthetic trainees are expected to engage in patient safety at each level of training.

There are a number of valuable sources of information for all trainees:

Patient safety training

Patient safety training days are held bi-annually in Health Education Wessex. All core trainees are expected to attend. The patient safety training day covers:

  • Error and leadership
  • Human factors
  • Communication
  • The piper alpha disaster
  • Leadership and professionalism
  • Risk reviews
  • Speciality specific project planning and design.

The days are led by the training leads and the patient safety champions within Wessex. Every year all trainees have the opportunity to present a patient safety project at the regional conference.

Training levels

The RCoA patient safety strategy and programme covers 5 areas:

  1. Promote patient safety
  2. Set and maintain the highest standards
  3. Support anaesthetists in training
  4. Build capability of anaesthetists within teams
  5. Promote an open and supportive culture in health care

With this in mind the Wessex School of Anaesthesia promotes patient safety involvement at all three stages of training

Stage 1

All trainees should attend the patient safety half day during their first year. During the 3 years they should attend the patient safety conference once.

The 2021 Curriculum refers to “involvement in QI as a minimum” 

The 2021 Curriculum outlines stage 1 patient safety in the key capabilities 12.4.2 E – M

Stage 2

All trainees apply the principles of patient safety in the hospital context.

The 2021 Curriculum outlines the key capabilities in stage 2 13.4  A – J

Stage 3

All trainees can use a systematic approach to creating, maintaining and improving patient safety.

The 2021 Curriculum outlines the key capabilities in 14.4 I – R


The School will assess this involvement at ARCP with evidence in the DiT’s portfolio annually.