Dr Rebecca Hewitson, Paediatric Registrar
"Listening to Joanne tell Jasmine’s story, without anger or blame, but with a determination to help others to learn from what happened, is one of the most moving and memorable things I have experienced in my entire medical training. She has supported other bereaved parents to share their stories too; all with the same aim of spreading learning and improving care for children who are unwell. A powerful and unforgettable way of improving patient safety."
Marie Boles, Deputy Chief Nurse (North), NHS England
" I am delighted to have the opportunity to comment on the fantastic work Jo has done to support the development of the National guidance on Learning from Deaths.
For the last two years Jo has worked tirelessly with other bereaved families and NHS England to develop this National guidance. Jo has generously shared her own experience following the tragic death of her beautiful daughter Jasmine.
I would describe Jo as a ‘critical friend’ to this programme of work. Despite managing the pressures of being a mum with a young family, Jo always finds time to join our meetings, comment on the draft guidance and offer real and practical solutions to move this work forward.
This area of work is really challenging and at times all stakeholders do not agree, Jo has a respectful appreciation of the lived experience of others but is not afraid to express her views. Jo does this with exceptional skill which ensures that her contributions are both authentic and credible.
Jo has a real commitment to ensure other families do not experience the heartache she has experienced. Jo has a particular passion to ensure frontline staff are supported to raise concerns and that organisations develop the right culture and leadership to facilitate learning from these tragic and quite often avoidable cases. Jo has challenged regulators i.e. CQC and NHS Improvement to ensure their inspection frameworks are fit for purpose.
Jo has worked with other bereaved families to ensure the voice of families is heard at the National Programme Board. This has meant developing a compelling case for change. In some way developing the guidance has been the more straightforward task but Jo and other families have convinced the Board that the wider system architecture needs to be reviewed if we are to truly make a difference for other families and staff.
In conclusion, it has been an absolute privilege to work with Jo. I believe I am a better nurse, manager and person for having known her."
Kath Evans - Experience of Care Lead Maternity, Infants, Children and Young People, NHS England
"We all want to ensure our services are the safest and provide excellent care to the patients that we serve. Sadly and tragically in healthcare we don't always get things right and errors occur. How we collaborate with patients and families when incidents occur is vital in challenging practices so that we work to continuously improve healthcare and vitally demonstrate to families that when errors happen we will do everything we can to share learning and prevent reoccurrence.
Often as professionals we have the great privilege of meeting very special people who have personally experienced unimaginable tragedy; I feel honoured to have met and got to know Joanne Hughes over the past 5 years. Joanne is committed to sharing what happened to her daughter Jasmine that led to her untimely death to prevent similar scenarios happening to other children. Joanne professionally conveys what happened to Jasmine clearly, factually and constructively in a solution focused way. Joanne uses her experience to challenge the system encouraging and urging us to think differently.
Families who experience 'serious incidents' and 'never events' generously support each other through their shared experiences. Joanne recognised the need for peer support and created Mothers Instinct to bring families together. As a result Joanne has placed herself in a unique position of advocating on behalf of a number of families, bringing her knowledge of a range of diverse experiences of healthcare to the table.
Joanne is a wonderful ambassador for safer care that involves parents and the public as true partners so that together we grow a culture of designing and delivering a safer healthcare system that continuously learns and adapts.
It's a privilege to know Joanne, she is a role model to us all, an inspiring articulate speaker who is able to share the pain of Jasmine's death and incidents that have happened to others whilst still encouraging health professionals to keep working to improve healthcare. Professionals always respond positively at large national and smaller local events when Joanne is involved. She conveys confidence and demonstrates great insight when speaking at conferences and when she is part of national meetings/groups to progress national policies as a parent representative.
I cannot recommend Joanne and her work highly enough"