Patient safety collaboratives


Designed to improve the safety of patients and ensure continual patient safety learning sits at the heart of healthcare in England. The programme provides safety improvements across all healthcare settings, and at the time of writing, is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

How the Patient Safety Collaboratives will work

A network of 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives is led by England’s 15 Academic Health Sciences Networks (AHSNs) to tackle the leading causes of avoidable harm to patients. The collaboratives empower local patients and healthcare staff to work together to identify safety priorities and develop solutions, which will be implemented and tested within local healthcare organisations before being shared nationally with the other collaboratives.

The collaboratives support individuals, teams and organisations to build skills and knowledge about safety improvement, create space and time to work on safety issues, and provide opportunities to continually learn from each other.

Priority safety areas, such as reducing pressure ulcers, falls or medical device errors, will be set by each individual collaborative to ensure they have the biggest impact in meeting local need

Catchment area for each patient safety collaborative: map PNG, 188.6 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.

The programme endorses the aim of the ‘Sign up to Safety’ campaign to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world by creating a system devoted to continuous learning and improvement.

The Patient Safety Collaboratives are borne out of Professor Don Berwick’s report into the safety of patients in England published in August 2014. The report, A Promise to Learn – a commitment to act, made a series of recommendations to improve patient safety; and called for the NHS ‘’to become, more than ever before, a system devoted to continual learning and improvement of patient care, top to bottom and end to end.’’

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