Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh

Title: Chief Executive

Company: Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

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Communicating with patients and families when harm has occurred


Patient experience is about more than the medical encounter. Patients just don’t experience what happens in the exam room; their experiences are made up of everything that occurs throughout their healthcare journey. 


Expanding the conception of patient experience to include a wider variety of experiences across the healthcare journey is critical for health care organizations interested in providing optimal health care delivery and improving overall system.

About the speaker

Peter joined as Chief Executive of AvMA in January 2003 replacing the founding chief executive, Arnold Simanowitz OBE. 

One of the earliest changes Peter brought about was a change of name and from “Action for Victims of Medical Accidents” to Action against Medical Accidents and rebranding, including the strapline “for patient safety & justice”. This helped people recognize AvMA as the leading patients’ charity working for better patient safety as well as justice (in the widest sense) for patients affected by lapses in safety. 

Peter led AvMA’s work as a core participant in the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry and arguably one of his most notable achievements has been leading the charity’s successful campaign for a legal “Duty of Candour”. 

He writes and speaks regularly on the subjects of patient safety and access to justice. Peter says AvMA’s role in “standing up for the little guys” was one of the main things that attracted him to the charity. He also has considerable experience of work on patients’ rights, advocacy and health policy before joining AvMA. 

He was Director of the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales, a local Community Health Council chief officer and has worked extensively in the voluntary sector. He holds an MBA in Health Service Management from the University of Hull, and BA in English from the University of Leicester. 

A keen sportsman himself, Peter is also a fan of Crystal Palace FC and, coming from Llanelli originally, of the Welsh national rugby and football teams.

Other positions currently held:
- World Health Organisation “Patients for Patient Safety Champion”
- Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Patient Safety & Risk management (formerly Clinical Risk)