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New role for top nurse patient safety expert

A leading nurse and patient safety expert is to join the NHS body responsible for managing negligence claims.

Suzette Woodward will join the NHS Litigation Authority on 1 February in the newly created role of director of safety, learning and people.

She will lead a review of its risk management standards, the assessment process and learning from negligence and other claims against the NHS in England.

Dr Woodward, a former paediatric intensive care nurse, is currently director patient safety at the new NHS Commissioning Board, a post she has held for little more than six months.

She joined the commissioning board following the closure in June of the National Patient Safety Agency, where she was director of patient safety.

While at the NPSA, she led on a number of large-scale national patient safety interventions, including the implementation of the World Health Organization’s surgical checklist and the Patient Safety First campaign.

NHS Litigation Authority chief executive Catherine Dixon said: “Suzette’s expertise and leadership, which are well-known across the NHS, will help us drive improvements to patient and staff safety by helping the NHS learn from claims.

“If we can help prevent mistakes from happening, we can safeguard patients and staff.”

The NHS Litigation Authority is a not-for-profit part of the NHS, which manages negligence and other claims against the NHS in England on behalf of its member organisations.

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