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Helen Hughes

Chief Executive Officer
Patient Safety Learning

Helen is an experienced leader in organisational effectiveness and transformational change. She has held leadership roles in healthcare in the UK and the World Health Organisation and in improvement and regulatory bodies such as the National Patient Safety Agency, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Parliamentary Health Services Ombudsman and the Charity Commission. She Chairs a Charity, Solace Women's Aid. Helen's passion for improved patient safety is derived from a personal family insight into the impact of unsafe care and her dismay at the ineffectiveness of organisational responses to learn from error. She brings her insight from cross organisational learning and her knowledge of human factors and systems to work - to further support initiatives in healthcare organisation culture and learning, ensuring the impact on patient and staff experience is at the centre of patient safety improvement.

  • A ‘just’ culture: Leading the transition from blame to a culture which priorities safety over fear and promotes shared learning and transparency;
  • Patient safety specialism: Implementing the right competency framework for frontline staff to effectively track, investigate and prevent incidents and developing a programme for continuous improvement;
  • Dynamic Leadership: Developing a shared leadership agenda which is practical, sustainable, service-specific, value driven and patient-centric;
  • Data driven: Utilising data to inform new safe strategies, to provide demonstrable cumulative benefits for patients and developing standards for shared data collection, benchmarking and reporting and;
  • How patients can engage for improved patients safety, to prevent harm and to be better supported and for shared learning from when things do go wrong.