Patient Advocate

Scott Morrish is a photographer and the father of 3… Ben (thirteen), Ollie (six) and Sam… who should be eleven but — weakened by flu and overwhelmed by sepsis — died suddenly and unexpectedly aged just three in Torbay Hospital (Devon, UK). Sam’s death was immediately described as ‘explained’ but ‘unavoidable’. Years later, however, successive investigations determined that Sam’s death was ‘avoidable’ and the result of ‘a catalogue of errors’. These were painful truths which the health service lacked the courage or competence to identify, and proved unable or unwilling to acknowledge. Scott’s fight for honesty, learning and safety spanned the ‘whole system’. It evolved into thinking about the purpose and principles of healthcare itself. He now campaigns for a ‘Just and Restorative Culture’ to deliver psychological safety — for patients and staff — to break the cycle of avoidable harm. Scott was a member of the Expert Advisory Group that helped shape the UK’s pioneering Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.