29 July 2016

Holidays are a time for recuperation, reflection and learning. Yes you can learn something on a cruise! What I saw, and have seen many times before, is a focus on quality, safety and customer service which we can only be envious of. You might think there are no parallels but there are. The cruise line doesn’t want people to fall ill on their holidays and there have been many such experiences for other cruise lines over the years. The company go out of their way to not only promote basic hygiene, but force this to happen through their proactive actions on a simple thing like hand washing.

We promote hygiene as a key factor in quality and safety and yet we do not, in my opinion, proactively or rigorously reinforce this through actions. Yes we have hand gel machines in place in hospitals and across clinical services but do we enforce their use? Do we ask people who visit a patient on a ward whether they have used the hand gel? I am not sure we do. For me we talk a lot about quality and safety, but sometimes our actions don’t match up. Our job as a commissioner is to reinforce that quality and safety has to be actions, as well as words.

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