Nurse on a mission to boldly improve safety in the health service

Alison Leary looks to space for answers

A nurse from the UK will travel to the United States to study how NASA prioritises safety in space.  

Alison Leary, chair of healthcare and workforce modelling at London South Bank University, aims to apply what she learns to the healthcare sector. 

While on the US trip, funded by a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Professor Leary will visit sites owned by the space agency to study safety systems run by its safety and mission assurance team.

She will then produce a report to assist UK healthcare providers in modelling best practice.

Professor Leary said that, following the Francis Inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, there was ‘a renewed duty to create a culture of openness and transparency in the NHS, so that safety-critical work can be carried out successfully’.

She added: ‘Shifting the culture of a workplace is never easy, but looking to other safety-critical industries might help hospitals and other providers to adopt models of work that have proven to be successful.

‘I’m looking forward to learning more about the processes that other industries have in place and, in turn, helping healthcare providers to improve safety in the UK.’


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