Patient safety collaboratives


The national patient safety collaboratives (PSC) is the largest safety initiative in the history of the NHS, supporting and encouraging a culture of safety, continuous learning and improvement, across the health and care system.

How we work

The PSC is a joint initiative, funded and nationally coordinated by NHS Improvement, with the 15 regional PSCs organised and delivered locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). 

We are in a unique position to be able to support and facilitate improvement across the NHS and through the PSC we are able to:

  • focus on quality improvement 
  • work directly with local teams, supporting them to make sure they have the right skills and resources to implement successful improvement
  • focus on people-centred care, across all care settings 
  • influence across the health system including acute, community and mental health trusts, GPs, and care homes to share good practice
  • identify local priorities for quality improvements that will make a difference to our local health care systems
  • link and build relationships with frontline staff, businesses and academia helping to stimulate innovation and improvement. 

Over the next two years, we have made a collective commitment to focus our activities on three national areas of work.


Raising awareness of the impact culture has on safety, helping to create the conditions to enable health care organisations to nurture and develop a culture of safety 


Reducing avoidable harm and enhance the outcomes and experience of patients who are deteriorating across England through improved recognition, response and communication and the use of early warning systems

Maternal and neonatal 

Supporting the national Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative, providing quality improvement expertise and coaching to maternal and neonatal staff and hosting local learning systems to support the local maternity system.

What have we achieved in the last four years?

We are contributing to the delivery of real improvement to healthcare: 

  • helping to define good clinical practice for national priorities such as sepsis and discharge and transfer
  • sharing good practice across the system
  • ensuring a reliable quality of care and 
  • giving NHS staff the confidence and skills to deliver quality improvement initiatives 

Review of the Patient Safety Collaborative programme

Patient Safety Collaboratives PDF, 430.3 KB

In 2018 we commissioned a review of the operational delivery and impact of the Patient Safety Collaborative programme. This report gives its findings and recommendations to strengthen the programme, including greater collective focus on priority workstreams and alignment to the forthcoming patient safety strategy.

The Patient Safety Measurement Unit supports the PSC, allowing us to measure whether we are making a difference, and helping us to spread the learning from what has worked well.

Get involved

Email for more information on the national PSC programme.

For more information on regional PSCs or to get involved in work in your area, please contact your regional PSC.

Catchment area for each patient safety collaborative: map DOCX, 59.6 KB

The geographic areas covered by the individual AHSNs will be the catchment area for each Patient Safety Collaborative. Within that geographic area the collaboratives will work with their local healthcare providers, staff and patients to identify and develop solutions for local patient safety priorities.

East Midlands
Greater Manchester
South London
North West London
Kent Surrey Sussex
North East and North Cumbria
North West Coast
South West
UCL Partners
West Midlands
West of England
Yorkshire & Humber

Background to our work

The 2013 Francis Report that examined failings in care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, triggered a need to understand the how the whole NHS system could improve further. Professor Don Berwick, a leading expert in global healthcare improvement, was asked to look at whether we could ‘make zero harm a reality’ and what could be done to achieve a continual reduction in harm over time. 

The report published by the national advisory group led by Don Berwick, A promise to learn - a commitment to act (2013) made a series of recommendations to improve patient safety. The national PSC programme was created to support the call for ‘the NHS to become a system devoted to continual learning and improvement’ in order to make care safer for all. 

Our partners and alignment with other initiatives

Sign up to Safety is a national campaign that focuses on creating the conditions for a safety culture, and promotes the theory and methods in relation to safety conversations.  (Link)

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK, creating opportunities to come together as an improvement community – sharing ideas, enhancing skills and collaborating to make health and care better.

Related content

Is there anything wrong with this page?

Help us improve this website

Do not include any personal, sensitive or confidential information.