This learning report provides an overview of the Safer Patients Initiative (phases 1 and 2) and its evaluation, and highlights the impact of the programme, key lessons and further issues for exploration.

The report explains:

  • There were significant improvements at a micro-system level where participant sites saw improvements in patient safety in specific clinical areas, such as a ward or critical care unit.
  • The initiative was effective in raising awareness and galvanising action around the issue of avoidable harm to patients.
  • The programme was successful in engaging senior managers whose support and enthusiasm helped to make safety an organisational priority.
  • However, at an organisation-wide level the evaluation found no additional impact of the programme within the timeframe.

Key learning:

  • A wider set of methods and approaches are needed to impact on patient safety at an organisational level.
  • The scale of resources needed to make organisation-wide change.
  • The need to make changes at every level of the system, from policy to deep engagement with professionals.
  • The time needed to deliver and embed improvements.

Further reading

Safer Patients Initiative

The Safer Patients Initiative was the first major improvement programme to start addressing the issue of patient safety in the UK. It was complex and large-scale in its approach to improvement, rec...


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