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Feature BMJ Group Awards

Best Improvement in Quality and Safety

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 07 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1398
  1. Jane Smith, deputy editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. jsmith{at}

The shortlist for the award for Best Improvement in Quality and Safety includes three very different approaches to quality improvement—one national, one regional, and one local. All meet the criteria of having a clear strategy for change, measurable improvement in an outcome that matters to patients, a real linkage between organisational change and clinical benefit, some novelty, and evidence of extending the initiative. Mark Stuart, director of the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, and I selected them from 28 submissions from all corners of England, Scotland, and Wales.

1000 Lives

The national project is the Welsh 1000 Lives Campaign. This aimed to save 1000 lives and prevent 50 000 episodes of harm in the Welsh health service between April 2008 and April 2010 by using evidence based interventions to improve patient safety. The proposers claim they achieved this, preventing 1199 deaths.

The project involved all types of health providers in Wales—including primary care and the ambulance service. Though participation was voluntary, all healthcare organisations in Wales took part, and staff engaged in collaborative “plan-do-study-act” cycles to work on safety concerns in their own parts of their organisation. The national campaign targeted a few specific areas, including reducing …

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