• Developed as a five year phased programme
  • Helps health care teams proactively identify potential safety breaches, enabling them to build better, safer health care systems.
  • Ran from 2008 to 2014
  • Funded by the Health Foundation with technical support provided by a consortium from the University of Warwick.

The Safer Clinical Systems programme is at the heart of the Health Foundation’s work to improve patient safety. We believe that by addressing the current variation in health care processes and by developing safer systems and culture, we can reduce avoidable harm.

Developed as a five-year programme, it built on the insights and learning gained from the Health Foundation’s Safer Patients Initiative, which looked at interventions at the point of clinical care. Safer Clinical Systems took a wider view, looking at the entire system of care in order to improve safety.

Safer Clinical Systems is a programme that takes a fresh and proactive approach to safety improvement. Rather than waiting until a problem has occurred, the programme helped health care teams proactively identify potential safety breaches, enabling them to build better, safer health care systems.

The programme tooks a phased approach over five years:

Phase 1: October 2008 – December 2010

The teams developed a common approach to improving the reliability of their systems. Working on individual projects, they developed and tested a range of interventions to improve patient safety.

Phase 2: Until the end of September 2013

The approach developed in phase one was tested by teams across the UK, demonstrating the lessons and successes of phase 1 on a larger scale.

Phase 3: Until the end of 2014

Successful techniques are shared and promoted across the wider NHS, building an infrastructure for long term sustainability.