Making the safety of patients everyone's highest priority

About the campaign

Campaign cause:

 'To make the safety of patients everyone's highest priority'

Campaign aim:

'No avoidable death and no avoidable harm'

Overview of the Patient Safety First Campaign

The Patient Safety First Campaign has been created to change the culture within the NHS; to one that makes the safety of patients the highest priority and makes all avoidable death and harm unacceptable.

Stephen Ramsden"We are delighted that the Patient Safety First Campaign for England has been so readily accepted by those running Trusts all across England. Working together, we are looking to change the culture within the NHS to one that puts the safety of patients as the highest priority. This is a campaign by the service, for the service for the benefit of patients and such support shows our aim is that of many in the NHS. We urge more trusts and staff to come on board to help us build on this early success"
Stephen Ramsden, Campaign Director

In response to the worldwide issue of improving patient safety, the Patient Safety First Campaign seeks to provide NHS staff with the knowledge and support they need to take simple steps to improve the safety of patients in their care.


The campaign is led by the service, for the service, and we're seeking voluntary participation from individuals, trust boards and healthcare organisations.

The Campaign is initially focused on the application of five interventions they will be working together to implement a number of life-saving interventions to reduce avoidable risks and harm associated with healthcare.

  • Leadership for safety – getting Boards fully engaged with patient safety with the aim of demonstrating that it is their highest priority
    Aim: to ensure a leadership culture at Board level, which promotes quality and patient safety and provides an environment where continuous improvement in harm reduction becomes routine throughout the organisation.

The clinical interventions

Beyond the Leadership intervention, there are four clinical interventions at the heart of this Campaign, chosen because they relate to known major sources of harm in hospitals. 

The clinical interventions at the heart of the Campaign are:

  • Reducing  harm from deterioration
    Aim: Reduce in-hospital cardiac arrest and mortality rate through earlier recognition and treatment of the deteriorating patient
  • Reducing harm in critical care (central line and ventilator care bundles)
    Aim: Improve the care of patients receiving critical care through the reliable application of care bundles
  • Reducing harm in perioperative care,(this includes prevention of surgical site infection and World Health Organisation’s Safe Surgery Checklist)
    Aim: Improve care for adult patients undergoing elective surgical procedures in the hospital setting
  • Reducing harm from high-risk medicines (this includes anticoagulants, injectable sedatives,  opiates, and insulin)
    Aim: To prevent harm from high-risk medicines.

How the campaign will make a difference

This campaign is unique in its aim and approach towards achieving our goals as it:

  • Seeks to create a movement. Sign-up to the campaign is voluntary and asks for participation from individuals, Trust Boards and other health organisations.
  • Is led by a team of dedicated clinicians and managers from across England, all experienced in and passionate about improving patient safety in their own field.
  • The campaign proposes an improvement/transformational approach to supplement existing approaches.

Trusts boards and health care organisations will implement agreed interventions and will commit to monitoring their impact and sharing data during the two year campaign period.

The campaign will not attempt to attribute all improvement over the next two years solely to its efforts. It is fundamental that the improvements we will see reflect all of the local and national initiatives.

The Patient Safety First Campaign will bring together these current and proposed initiatives, building on existing networks and creating new networks as necessary to support teams and organisations locally.

For more information contact:

Sponsored by

Sponsored by: National Patient Safety Agency Sponsored by: Institute for Innovation and Improvement Sponsored by: The Health Foundation