• Run by NHS North East, from December 2009 to January 2012.
  • Thirteen NHS organisations across the north east of England participated in the project.
  • Set out to improve patient safety, with a focus on nine clinical safety areas.
  • The programme of work included identifying main areas of concern, raising awareness, developing tools and good practice guides, developing leadership and sharing learning.

NHS North East called its strategy to improve patient safety 'Safer Care North East'. This project was designed to help organisations develop teams that would make safety improvement sustainable and ongoing, and also to share learning with the wider health care system.

Thirteen NHS organisations participated in the project, across the sector, each paying special attention to a particular clinical safety area. These included:

  • falls
  • managing the deteriorating patient
  • health care acquired infections
  • drug safety
  • safe surgery
  • suicide prevention
  • review of outlying mortality and morbidity
  • delayed transfers and discharges
  • safeguarding children and adults – a key focus area for all organisations.

Participating organisations conducted a programme of work that included: identifying main areas of concern, raising awareness, developing tools and good practice guides, developing their leadership and sharing their learning.


  • Safeguarding children: Training was given on individual management review reports to help improve the ‘serious case review’ process and a report on a sample of ongoing serious case reviews, complete with recommendations and an action plan for implementation, was launched with safeguarding professionals.
  • Safeguarding adults: The safeguarding adults group developed an action plan including plans for performance indicators, for PCT strategic plans, contracts and service specifications, and plans to monitor their development.
  • Falls (North East Ambulance Trust and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust): NHS North East worked in partnership with the National Patient Safety Agency to promote early implementation of the standards developed to reduce harm from falls. A good practice guide for falls prevention was developed and together with a new audit tool these have been shared across the region. As a result of this project, falls criteria are now included in the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation scheme.
  • Healthcare associated infections (Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust): This project worked with the Health Protection Agency to monitor monthly incidence of MRSA bacteraemia and C.difficile infections, assess root causes and risk factors, and work to ensure a consistent approach to the management of positive Staphylococcus aureus. The project also supported collaborative work with care homes to reduce infections across the health economy.

About this programme


Working with strategic health authorities

This programme created partnerships with four strategic health authorities to improve patient safety between 2009 and 2012. 

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