Improving safety in mental health

Mental health service users are harmed every day, despite the best efforts of the staff who support them.

Everyone involved in providing mental health services can help to reduce this harm and improve the safety of care they provide.

The Safer Care team is working with NHS trusts across England to help staff develop the passion, skills and confidence to improve patient safety in mental health.

Work is underway to develop an evidence-based Global Trigger Tool (GTT) for use in a mental health setting.  GTTs allow for the systematic identification of harm to patients, giving trusts a good understanding of their rate of harm. 

With this information to hand it will be possible for mental health trusts to measure the impact of system and process improvements implemented to eliminate harm to patients. 

Click here for a summary of a rapid literature review that was conducted to understand what is known about adverse events in mental health.  This has informed the development of triggers to test as part of the mental health Global Trigger Tool. 

For more information on improving patient safety in mental health or to get involved in our work, please contact

You may also wish to download a copy of our general practice and mental health improving patient safety newsletter (opens in new window - PDF 887KB).