Every year, millions of people die needlessly from preventable medical errors.  

Hard to believe, but it’s actually one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

It doesn’t have to be this way. By acknowledging mistakes, and learning lessons,

hospitals can implement practical strategies to end this cycle of unnecessary harm.

Our Mission

We want to end the preventable harm pervasive in our health care systems.

We want to embolden transparency and accountability for patients and workers. 

We want to create safe, trusted, and reliable health care environments for everyone.

 

After all, as patients, do we deserve anything less?

 

Who We Are

Jamie Thomas King

As a classically-trained actor devoted to the authentic representation of the human condition,

Tamara Podemski

A multi-disciplinary performer and creator, Tamara has spent the last 20 years on stage and screen telling stories that celebrate the human spirit.

Tamara, Jamie and Benjamin May 6th 2016

Our Story

We had a complicated delivery with our first son, Oliver. It started as a home birth and resulted in an emergency c-section in hospital. One year later, when we got pregnant with our second son, Benjamin, we were surprised that, despite our traumatic birth history, the recommended plan was VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). The UK maternity approach follows a midwifery model for low risk women and, since we had a healthy pregnancy, we were not scheduled to see a doctor throughout our prenatal care. At 41 ½ weeks, with no signs of labour, we saw an obstetric consultant for the first time. We were told that a natural spontaneous labour with VBAC was still the safest route and we were encouraged to continue daily monitoring with our local midwives and return the following week for ultrasound. Our next appointment was booked for 42 weeks plus 1 day. We never made it.

 

What We Are Doing

Public Speaking

Workshops

We offer speaker services including panel and roundtable discussions. We facilitate debate and dialogue between policy makers, health care workers, patients, administrators, clinicians, and lawyers. Fundamentally, we believe in the salience of a shared narrative between all stake holders. It’s only through coming together that we are able to fully comprehend the nature and scope of an issue. It’s simply essential to look at problems and issues from all angles.

Our workshops are customized for health care professionals, victims of harm and bereaved parents. Our training and coaching is focused on the non-technical skills       of communication, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence. We are trained facilitators, using evidence based, experiential learning techniques to deliver our message. Our aim is to create a vivid sense of awareness so that interactions can become more authentic and meaningful.

 

What People Are Saying

Ariana Longley, MPH, Chief Operating Officer Patient Safety Movement Foundation

I found out about Jamie, Tamara and Benjamin's story through a voicemail left on our toll-free line and immediately knew that I had to get in touch with Jamie to bring him into the fold, offering him a platform to advocate for patient safety improvement. Jamie is genuinely interested in doing whatever he can to advocate for change and ensure there are no more events, like Benjamins, that plague our healthcare systems globally.

James Titcombe, OBE, author of "Joshua's Story, Uncovering the Morecambe Bay Maternity Scandal", Patient Advocate, International Speaker and Adviser 

Jamie and I are sadly connected through the tragic loss of our sons, who both died following avoidable failures in maternity care. Our stories are similar not just in relation to what happened, but also in terms of how the system responded. Jamie is passionate and driven to ensure we move towards a culture in healthcare that better supports openness, transparency and learning when things go wrong, and that changes are made to ensure other families don’t suffer the kind of life changing tragedy we have been through. I’m hugely proud to be working with him.

 

Events and Media

March 3rd 2020 Brussels, Belgium 
 

Why the Blackbird?

In mythologies all around the world, blackbirds often appear as a symbols of death. In Native American stories, ravens often symbolize change and transformation. For us, blackbirds have an even deeper, more personal significance.

 

On the night that Benjamin died, two black birds sat singing in a tree outside our hospital window. They sang until morning. Their song reminded us of the beauty of the moment and helped us to embrace the short time we physically had with Benjamin. 

The following morning, when we left the hospital, blackbirds were covering our car. In that moment, our hearts were lifted as we felt instantly our spiritual connection with Benjamin. Ever since then, we see blackbirds often. And every time we do, we are filled with gratitude for Benjamin and the guiding force of his spiritual presence in our life.

Support & Guidance

When your child dies, you become part of a group. A group that nobody wants to be a part of. But a group none the less. For us, it was only when we started to find our place in that group that we really started to heal. There are many amazing organizations who can provide that space for you and if you feel the need for support, we urge you to reach out and connect. Talking helps, it really does. There are many extraordinary groups of people who have helped us in our journey. Here are some of them.

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The Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) is a commitments-based global non-profit that has a bold goal to achieve ZERO preventable deaths in hospitals. PSMF works with partners in more than 50 countries worldwide. The organization is based in Irvine, California. 

Call Us: +1 (877) 236-0279

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Sands is a UK charity that works across the country to support anyone affected by the death of a baby; improve the care bereaved parents receive from health care and other professionals; and reduce the number of babies who do die by funding research and working closely with other organisations to create a world where fewer babies die.

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Experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby is devastating. But you aren’t alone. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network is here to help, with free group and individual peer-support services offered to families across Ontario, Canada.

+1 (888) 303- 7245 

pailnetwork@sunnybrook.ca 

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AvMA is a UK charity for patient safety & justice. We support people affected by avoidable harm in healthcare; to help them achieve justice; and to promote better patient safety for all.

Helpline: +44 845 123 2352 

Helpline: +44 808 164 3332
 

COVID-19 Bereavement Support Fundraiser                                                               During these unprecedented times, the need for support and counselling has never been greater, and yet for so many, it's simply not an option. We're raising money to help those in need, aiming to provide online grief support for people who are also experiencing financial hardship. To nominate someone to recieve this support, or if you are able to donate, please follow the links below. Your support is greatly appreciated.                                                         

 

For more information about the work we do, or to share your story, please email us or use the contact form provided.

 

Thank you for visiting our site.

Get in touch

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