Shift focus from treatment to encouraging health, safety guru tells conference

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 15 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2755
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. 1Paris

Healthcare professionals and institutions should radically change their priorities to encourage wellbeing rather than simply respond to illness, an expert in patient safety has told a conference on healthcare quality.

“Let’s embark on an audacious and courageous pursuit of wellbeing,” said Donald Berwick, who recently reviewed patient safety in the NHS.1 He was speaking on 10 April at the 19th annual International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, held in Paris.

The World Health Organization considers health “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” Berwick reminded delegates, emphasising the importance of kindness, generosity, …

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