Safer Clinical Systems

Developed as a five-year phased programme, Safer Clinical Systems helped health care teams proactively identify potential safety breaches, enabling them to build better, safer health care systems

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This programme is closed for applications.

  • A five-year phased programme that ran from 2008 to 2013.
  • Funded by the Health Foundation with technical support provided by a consortium from the University of Warwick.

We believe that by addressing the current variation in health care processes and by developing safer systems and culture, we can reduce avoidable harm.

The Safer Clinical Systems programme 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.

The programme took 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 took 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.

Resources

Moving beyond initial prescribing accuracy in the emergency village

Improvement project

This project led by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, aims to improve prescribing accuracy for patients admitted on weekends and improve the prescribing journey within EAU through to discharge. It w...

Delivery of critical medications to patients in the acute care pathway

Improvement project

Led by Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, this project aims to improve reliability in the patient assessment and prescribing process for medications that reduce the risk of venous throm...

Improving the reliability and accuracy of medicine reconciliation and polypharmacy medication reviews in an orthopaedic ward

Improvement project

Led by Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, this project aims to improve reliability in medicines reconciliation on discharge and achieve a 50% reduction in prescribing errors. The work will identif...

Improving the recognition, assessment and response to patients admitted to A&E with an infection

Improvement project

The Central Manchester University Hospitals team will use the Safer Clinical Systems process to improve patient safety for adults admitted to the A&E department at Manchester Royal Infirmary. This wor...

Using a safety case approach to demonstrate the safety of the surgical system

Improvement project

Led by Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, this project aims to test the feasibility and effectiveness of the safety case approach in a complex care pathway. The team will develop a s...

Safer Clinical Systems: Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust

Improvement project

Run by a team at Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, this project focused on patients with Parkinson’s disease and aimed to improve reliability in medication prescribing and administering through ho...

Safer Clinical Systems: Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Improvement project

Based at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, this project aimed to raise staff awareness of the dangers inherent in prescribing and to develop procedures to implement safer prescribing processe...

Safer Clinical Systems: Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust

Improvement project

Led by a team at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, this project aimed to understand and improve the complex care pathway for patients with end-stage renal failure, particularly those in nee...

Safer Clinical Systems: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Improvement project

Based at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a focus on Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, this project aimed to provide a better experience of care for children, thei...

Safer Clinical Systems: Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Improvement project

Based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, this project aimed to contribute to the hospital’s goal of eliminating patient harm by improving the handover of patient medical and care information between d...

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