What would the world look like if we were able to balance our preoccupation with error with an equal and opposite focus on excellence and success? I have a vision of a health service where all the elements of safety enquiry have an opposite ‘match’ from the realm of excellence. ‘Incident reporting’ is matched with ‘excellence reporting’; SIRIs have a ‘reverse’ counterpart focused on success; ‘never events’ are given as much consideration as ‘always events’; ‘morbidity and mortality’ meetings are coupled with ‘wellbeing and survival’ meetings; and the ‘risk register’ is tempered by an innovative, forward-looking ‘opportunities register’. In fact the whole paradigm of safety practice could be inverted. It only tales a slight change in mindset.
Safety itself would be thought of as just a part of the wider quality spectrum, and we could focus on finding learning points across the whole spectrum.