Safer Patients Initiative

Lessons from the first major improvement programme addressing patient safety in the UK

February 2011

Thumbnail

Key points

  • 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.

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.

Key lessons include:

  • a wider set of methods and approaches is needed to affect patient safety at an organisational level
  • the scale of resources needed to make organisation-wide change should be appreciated
  • there is a need to make changes at every level of the system, from policy to deep engagement with professionals
  • time is needed to deliver and embed improvements.

Further reading

Research report

Safer Patients Initiative: Phase 1

Mixed-method evaluation of a large-scale organisational intervention to improve patient safety in four UK hospitals

Research report

Safer Patients Initiative: Phase 2

A controlled evaluation of the second phase of a complex patient safety intervention implemented in English hospitals

Research report

Safer Patients Initiative: Case studies

A series of case studies illustrating the work of the Health Foundation's Safer Patients Initiative

You might also like...

Research report

A critical moment

Our third annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England in 2018

Press release

NHS staff shortages put long-term vision for primary and community care at risk

New analysis shows NHS staff numbers are failing to keep pace with demand, and that there is ongoing deterioration in workfor...

Press release

A deeply concerning picture of the state of screening programmes in England

The Health Foundation responds to the National Audit Office’s investigation into the management of health screening.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more