Industry and the health service must communicate if patient safety initiatives are to work, writes Alison Moore

Industry and the NHS need to talk to each other about what is needed to improve patient safety and what is available, the panel heard.

A two-way flow of information could also help build trust. Dr Hamilton-Fairley said that innovation hubs – which started in the East of England but had now spread – were making a difference. She said the smartphone otoscope which had been developed in Kent and Medway had started with concerns about the demand for ENT consultant input outstripping the time available but industry partners had been drawn in and an innovative solution emerged.

Mr Lever added: “The market engagement is absolutely critical. We need to find out what the market can do and then we can consider the specification appropriately. It’s about asking the questions of the clinical workforce and then working with suppliers to make sure they can meet them.” He urged that suppliers should not be left out of the conversation.

In Nuneaton, staff are already being asked what they want out of a piece of equipment and the specification built up from that, said Ms Bakewell. Training and ongoing updates were part of that specification.

Mr Quinn said there was a need for industry to “slice its evidence into your language” and provide it in a way which helped NHS staff.

Roundtable: How can industry play a part in boosting patient safety?