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Peter Walsh

Chief Executive
Action Against Medical Accidents

Peter joined AvMA as chief executive in January 2003, replacing the founding chief executive, Arnold Simanowitz OBE. One of Peter’s earliest actions was to introduce a rebranding of the charity, changing its name from Action for Victims of Medical Accidents to Action against Medical Accidents and adding the strapline “for patient safety & justice”. This helped people to recognise AvMA as the leading patients’ charity working for better patient safety as well as justice (in the widest sense) for patients affected by lapses in safety. Peter led AvMA’s work as a core participant in the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry and arguably one of his most notable achievements has been leading the charity’s successful campaign for a legal duty of candour. He writes and speaks regularly on the subjects of patient safety and access to justice. Peter says AvMA’s role in “standing up for the little guys” was one of the main things that attracted him to the charity. Prior to joining AvMA he was director of the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales, a local Community Health Council chief officer and has worked extensively in the voluntary sector.

  • Taking the lead on safety: Ensuring patients are present and involved on all levels of healthcare organisation using partnership, co-production and collaborative methods;
  • Participatory healthcare: Changing the health care system to make it fairer, more equitable and empowering patients to take an active part in their healthcare and treatments;
  • Measuring success: Understanding the impact of diverse patient safety improvement activities and how this can be better supported.
  • Learning from deaths: Preventing repeat incidents and deaths by driving system wide processes to learn from incidents, ensure transparency and accountability, and improve safety.