Patient safety podcast 2 - If we are psychologically safe, children are safer in our care

Our second episode in this series focuses on psychological safety in healthcare settings. This is the condition in which you feel safe to learn, safe to contribute and safe to challenge the status quo. Featuring Dr Dal Hothi and Dr Jess Morgan.
Pictures of Dr Dal Hothi and Dr Jess Morgan, and stylised waveform

Listen to the episode and learn how you can reflect on your own behaviour, champion effective communication and create a psychologically safe space within your team. You can access below or wherever you get your podcasts, or find on our podcast website. You can download the full transcript at the bottom of this page.

Creating a workplace in which healthcare professionals feel psychologically safe is an essential foundation in building a safety culture. Psychological safety in healthcare settings is the condition in which you feel included, safe to learn, safe to contribute and safe to challenge the status quo - without fear of being embarrassed, marginalised or punished.

Individually, feeling psychologically safe improves performance and innovation, while feeling unsafe reduces productivity and harms retention. In a highly productive team, it is about feeling safe to take risks, to learn from each other and to feel resilient and able to tackle the difficult and varying challenges of healthcare with a healthy mindset.

To learn more, visit the RCPCH Patient Safety Portal and begin your journey in improving your own psychological safety and that of those you work with. 

Please be advised that this podcast series contains stories relating to child death and harm. All views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong to the guests and not necessarily to their employer, linked organisations or RCPCH.

If you are a healthcare professional and you are worried that you are suffering with burnout please speak to your team, your GP or Practitioner Health.

About the speakers

Dr Dal Hothi is a paediatric nephrologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She's also a Director of Leadership Development at the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, as well as being an Officer for Lifelong Careers at the RCPCH.

Dr Jess Morgan is a paediatric doctor and Dinwoodie RCPCH Fellow who leads on the RCPCH Thrive Paediatrics Project along with Dal.

About the patient safety podcast series

As doctors we ‘first, do no harm’. However, the systems in which we work are rife with safety issues and resultant harm. In thinking about how to improve this, we have brought together leaders in the field to discuss challenging and thought-provoking issues around keeping our children safe in healthcare settings.

We hope you will be entertained, educated, and energised to make strides in improving the safety of the children that you care for.

Thank you for listening. 

Dr Natalie Wyatt, RCPCH Clinical Fellow and Jonathan Bamber, RCPCH Head of Quality Improvement

Links for topics/organisations/papers referenced in this episode


Thrive Paediatrics at RCPCH

Amy Edmondson and psychological safety

Tim Clark’s four stage model of psychological safety

Freedom to Speak Up (The National Guardian)

The Health Foundation: The measurement and monitoring of safety ("Safety is not defined by the absence of negative outcomes" - Charles Vincent)