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Northumbria welcomes Finnish partners on pioneering patient safety project

Press release   •   Apr 03, 2017 11:15 BST

SLIPPS project launch December 2016

A leading Finnish expert in the field of applied sciences has spent a week working closely with Northumbria University academics on an EU-funded project to improve patient safety.

Dr Susanna Tella is a Senior Lecturer at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (SUAS) in Lappeentanta, Finland, and holds a post-doc position with the University of Eastern Finland.

She spent the week working alongside Northumbria’s Dr Alison Steven, a Reader in Health Professions Education, on SLIPPS (Shared Learning from Practice to improve Patient Safety) - a project led by Northumbria University and which Dr Tella is a key collaborator on.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, SLIPPS is an innovative three-year education and research project that will draw on the real experiences of health and social care students in work placements across five European countries.

Errors, mishaps and misunderstandings are common and around one in 10 patients suffer avoidable harm. These incidents impact upon patients, their families, health care organisations, staff and students. SLIPPS is responding to the challenge to improve patient safety education.

Led by Dr Steven, the team includes Professor Pauline Pearson also from Northumbria and colleagues from six partner universities: Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Finland; the University of Alicante in Spain; the University of Eastern Finland; the University of Genoa in Italy; Østfold University College in Norway and Lappeenranta University of Technology, in Finland.

Dr Tella spent time meeting and interacting with nursing students and presenting her doctoral work to an audience of academics and students from across several departments.

She said: "Our collaboration has been very fruitful from the very beginning. We share the same interest on patient safety and how to learn from each other. In my experience, this has been very effective, international teamwork. A lot has been achieved to develop international collaboration, not just between ourselves and health care providers but wider. The five country EU-project that Northumbria University and Dr Steven is leading, is a very good example."

In March, Dr Alison Steven and Professor Pauline Pearson gave a keynote speech at the prestigious International Conference hosted by the Royal College of Nursing Education Forum.

The key note entitled ‘Education for Patient Safety: Sharing learning from national to international contexts’ covered previous national research undertaken by Professor Pearson and Dr Steven, and Dr Steven then went on to outline and discuss the Northumbria-led SLIPPS project.

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