The ESTRO Radiation Oncology Safety and Quality Committee (ROSQC) has developed a series of lectures on quality and safety in a radiotherapy department, to coincide with World Patient Safety Day 2020.  The series has been designed to provide knowledge and understanding of the issues underpinning safe practice from both the patient and staff perspective. 

On 17 September 2020, the World Health Organization, international partners and all countries will celebrate the World Patient Safety Day. The overall objectives of this WHO initiative are to enhance global understanding of patient safety and raise awareness about the importance of health worker safety, increase public engagement in the safety of health care and promote global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.

The theme this year sees healthcare workers at the centre. WHO urges all stakeholders to “Speak up for health worker safety!" (more information here)

The ROSQC webinars, launched in the frame of this important day, will provide an overview of the relevant background to radiation safety, general health and safety, risk management and the clinical application of risk management.  In addition, we will introduce a range of methodologies used in monitoring and measuring quality and safety, highlighting areas of good practice from which a wider audience can learn.

Whilst the central theme of the videos is accurate and safe treatment of our patients, it also addresses safety of healthcare staff from both a physical and mental health perspective.  Lectures cover radiation protection and health and safety legislation and how to effectively ensure the working environment is compliant with all the elements of safe practice. 

From the healthcare staff perspective it is important that their safety is given equal importance.  Lectures on legislation and the Basic Safety Standards consider safety for patients, staff and the general public, ensuring that all healthcare workers are aware of how safety should be implemented in the working environment and what should be in place to ensure their health and safety, working in a complex and stressful environment. 

In radiotherapy, staff are responsible for the accurate and safe treatment of their patients, supporting and protecting their colleagues and members of the public who are present in their departments.  To protect the staff mental health it is important that RTTs and other professionals working in the area are educated not only in the principles of radiotherapy but all in risk management.  It is stressful to expect staff to be responsible if their knowledge does not support them to do this effectively.  This series of webinars will therefore support healthcare workers in understanding the importance of their own and others health and safety. 

We will also be including a lecture on the findings of a recent survey on COVID practice, the lessons we can learn and how we can apply the findings to enable our departments to put the correct protocols and practices in place in the event of a future pandemic to protect our healthcare staff whilst continuing to treat patients optimally. 

The ROSQC lectures are available here