Patient safety measurement for improvement


The Patient Safety Measurement Unit (PSMU) supports the delivery and success of our national patient safety improvement programmes, including the work of the 15 regionally-based Patient Safety Collaboratives.

Data to drive improvement in pressure ulcer prevention, falls prevention, VTE prevention, and the prevention of healthcare-associated infection

All data collection for the ‘classic’ Safety Thermometer and the ‘next generation’ Safety Thermometers ceased in March 2020. The Safety Thermometer was one of the largest scale and longest lasting frontline data collections the NHS has created, and had a powerful impact in its early years. But more recent evaluations, research and feedback have shown us that the data was incomplete, and it was no longer being used to support improvement in the intended way.

Ending the Safety Thermometer was publicly consulted on in 2019/20 as part of proposed changes to the NHS Standard Contract. The response supported ending the national collection of Safety Thermometer data, and using routinely collected alternative data sources to continue improving pressure ulcer prevention, falls prevention, VTE prevention and prevention of healthcare-associated infection.

Updates on progress on nationally produced replacement data will be published on this page.

Our plans include:

  • publishing and seeking feedback on data on pressure ulcers directly extracted from hospital episode statistics showing national trends and trends for all NHS trusts with acute or community inpatient beds as soon as possible

Further developments will depend on service pressures locally and nationally, but when feasible we will:

  • Publish data for community falls resulting in fragility fractures and inpatient falls resulting in hip fracture. These data are already published in a variety of places, but we aim to provide them in an accessible format for local improvement
  • Signpost data on published elsewhere on VTE risk assessment and deaths from healthcare-associated VTE
  • Provide advice on local monitoring of diagnosed CA-UTI and of levels of urinary catheter use, and signpost relevant healthcare-associated infection data published elsewhere
  • Seek your feedback on how all these can be developed to better support your improvement efforts

Data to drive improvement on other aspects of safety

Currently our patient safety collaboratives and safety improvement programmes will focus on the support they can give to the COVID-19 response; in future, they will be a source of support in measurement for improvement for other specific settings and types of safety , including care homes, mental health care settings, and medication safety.

In the meantime, any queries should be sent to

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