Brian Toft from Middleleaze was presented with the OBE by the Princess Royal on 5 October, in front of his wife Anne and daughter Emma, in recognition of his work to raise the profile of patient safety in healthcare.
Brian was appointed the world’s first professor of patient safety at Coventry University’s Applied Research Centre in Health and Lifestyle Interventions in 2008, after being involved in or chairing a series of enquiries into treatments and procedures that had compromised patient health, or where organisational systems had failed badly.
In West Swindon most people will know Brian as the intellectual driving force behind the campaign to save Shaw Forest Park in 2004 when it was threatened with commercial development as a football stadium.
His examination of the risk of disturbing the former landfill site and the outline legal case that might arise underpinned a rapid and successful campaign to kick the stadium idea into touch.
When his nomination was announced in June Brian told The Link that he had been ‘surprised and completely delighted’ to be made an OBE. He said, “to receive such an accolade is a real honour and I accept it to emphasise the importance of patient safety in our society.
“No one wants to have avoidable errors, injuries or deaths, least of all patients and their health care professionals. But unless we find out why things go wrong, and put in safer practices, mistakes will and do recur.”
After the investiture, Brian said, “The Princess Royal was very charming and instantly put me at my ease. She also seemed to know quite a bit about my endeavours which was a wonderful surprise. Following a short conversation she offered her hand and I stepped back gave a head bow and left the chamber.
“During our time at Windsor Castle all the staff were determined to make the day special for everyone present. “Emma had a wonderful time, and while we were waiting for our photographs to be taken one of the staff told her stories about the kings and queens of England who had lived at the castle.
“It was without doubt a wonderful day and one which we will all treasure for the rest of our lives.”
Pictured: Brian, Anne and Emma in the splendour of Windsor