Restorative Healing after Healthcare Harm

Our Mission

“To work collaboratively towards a future where harmed patients and families are respected and cared for, their needs are understood and met, their suffering is minimised and their recovery is supported, where preventable compounded harm is eliminated.”

We are a group working to increase understanding of the experience of being harmed by healthcare, the wide ranging impacts of the experience, and common needs that emerge if wellbeing, trust and a healthy relationship with healthcare are to be enabled going forward, all vital for people to flourish.  

We believe there should be a moral ‘duty of care’ for healthcare providers to respond to harm in healthcare in ways that help everyone heal. We recognise that current responses that do not prioritise healing of people, restoration of trust, and relationships that support people to have wellbeing and flourish cause compounded harm, and that for many the experience of compounded harm can have almost as awful consequences as the primary event itself. 

We are striving to increase insight and understanding across the healthcare system of the human needs for respect concern and dignity after healthcare harm, and how they can be met, with a focus on the application of Restorative Philosophy, Principles and practices to bring much needed improvement. 

We understand that nearly all healthcare harm is unintended, unexpected, and is devastating to both the staff involved and the patients harmed. We want to see a genuine shift away from thinking that to be accountable for our role in a harm event is to automatically be  ‘deserving of sanction’ and instead to ‘having obligations now in relation to what has happened’ . Who has been affected?, what do they need now?, and who has what obligations in relation to those needs? are the questions we feel must be asked when patients are harmed. An approach that will seek to address both the causes of the event, and the consequences, in ways that promote healing, learning, and a sense of justice for everyone involved. A ‘Restorative and Just’ Culture that recognises and explains the complexity of how incidents occur, dignifies staff and harmed patients / families , and tries to put things right to the extent possible for people, between people, and in the safety system, using collaborative and inclusive decision making processes that genuinely respect the harmed patient / family contribution.The start point for such an approach is of course a commitment to honesty, transparency, and fairness. 

 Whether you are a Harmed patient/family, Healthcare professional, NHS leader, Policy maker, Regulator, Royal College, Patient advocacy provider, Charity, Research Team, Legal Professional, or anyone else who wants to better understand the experiences and needs of harmed patients and families, and see people helped not further harmed , thank you for visiting our site. Get in touch if you would like to know more about what you can do to help eliminate the sources of compounded harm for patients and families, or you would like to work with us on initiatives aimed at this goal. By working together we can all help create a kinder and more compassionate system of responses that prioritise both safety system learning and human healing after harm happens, and hears all voices in these aims, goals we must inevitably all share.


Join us as a member: By signing up as a member of HPA you are stating your support of our mission – to eliminate wherever possible the sources of compounded harm to Harmed Patients and Families, promoting restorative approaches to healing and learning after harm.  HPA members will be contacted from time to time inviting input into our work via surveys, listening events etc. When we are contacted by patient safety researchers, or organisations seeking to understand harmed patient experiences to improve their services, we will ensure our members are alerted to the opportunities to give their voice to others work too.  

Help fund our work: Donations we receive help us to cover the costs of our website,  webinars, and campaigning work. 

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