1st Edition

Patient Safety and Serious Incident Responses The Essentials

Edited By Alison Elliott, Karen Wright Copyright 2025
    218 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This step-by-step guide takes the reader through the complex process of investigating serious incidents in health, social care and criminal justice environments, acknowledging differences of culture and context that shape an investigation. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, this text begins by exploring the key principles of investigation, including ethical and legal perspectives, the involvement of families and carers, and being aware of unconscious bias among other issues. The second part outlines in detail the conduct of investigations, from planning to processing the findings before moving onto part three, carrying them out in diverse settings. 

    Further chapters then look at investigating within diverse environments before moving onto to the final section which deals with reviewing and analysing the evidence collected and writing up the investigation. as well as learning that comes from an investigation and the pivotal issue of learning from, and disseminating the report. The inclusion of case studies, models of good practice and vignettes enable to reader to view each stage of the process in context and drive the transformation of practice. 

    This practical resource is designed to support  health and social care professionals who undertake investigations as part of their role, including nurses, allied health practitioners, social workers, doctors and psychologists as well as military personnel and law enforcers. It is an essential companion



    Table of figures

    Editors & Contributors

    Foreword: Professor Mike Thomas

    Introduction : Karen M. Wright & Alison Elliott 

    PART 1. Principles of investigation

    1:  Understanding and Avoiding Unconscious Bias:   Alison Elliott 

    2:  To Debrief or not to Debrief:   Frankie Westoby. 

    3: The Theoretical and legal principles of formal investigations:  Jenny Shaw.

    4: Family engagement – why it matters:  Julian Hendy. 

    PART 2:          Conducting the investigation. 

    5: Planning Investigations: Kevin Wright & Tiff Sinclair 

    6. Individual investigative Interviews: Alison Elliott & Karen Wright 

    7: Managing Interpersonal dynamics, and issues with group interviews: Sue Ellis. 

    8: Processing, reviewing and analysing material: Karen M Wright & Alison Elliott 

    PART 3 : Investigating in diverse environments. 

    9: Managing Diversity and Vulnerability:  Peggy Mulongo & John Wainwright 

    10: Serious incident investigations involving children and young people: Louise Hamer & Tim McDougall 

    11:  Investigations in the custodial setting – practical advice: David Durrant 

    12: Investigating within the military context: James Clapson. 

    13: Fitness to Practice Investigations : Joanne Keeling. 

    14: Managing Organisational Dynamics:  Jo Ramsden. 

    PART 4: Post- investigation reporting, learning & development 

    15: Approaches to managing information post investigation: Jenny Shaw.

    16: How to present a report & the executive summary: Teresa Lean. 

    17: ‘Cautionary tales: investigations - the effects on staff involved’: Panchu Xavier 

    18: The coroner’s inquest and attendance to an inquest hearing: Louise Swarbrick. 

    19: Closing the loop: Creating learning from the incident: Kim Bennett & Panchu Xavier 

    Glossary of Terms. 



    Alison Elliott is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and Programme Lead: Offender Personality Disorder Programme.

    Karen Wright is Professor Emerita at the University of Central Lancashire, practicing psychotherapist, Chair of an NHS research Ethics Committee and Registered Nurse.