Patient Safety Collaboratives

The Patient Safety Collaboratives are a new programme to improve the safety of patients and ensure continual patient safety learning sits at the heart of healthcare in England. The programme will officially launch in autumn 2014, and work is already underway to develop the 15 local collaboratives and provide support through national resources and networks.

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.’’

How the Patient Safety Collaboratives will work

The programme, coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ), will provide safety improvements across all healthcare settings, and become the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

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

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.

You can read more about the priorities for the collaboratives here.

The collaboratives will 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.

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.

National support for the Patient Safety Collaboratives

NHS IQ and NHS England will work nationally with the AHSNs to provide support and opportunities for the collaboratives to learn from each other, ensuring the most effective and successful solutions are rapidly spread and adopted across England. A national programme board will also oversee two centrally coordinated elements to support enhanced leadership and measurement for safety improvement.

Funding for the Patient Safety Collaboratives

The collaboratives will be funded by NHS England, to the value of £12m a year, for the next five years. £5.17m has been allocated for 2014/15 across the AHSNs as partial year funding.