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NHS Safety Thermometer

The NHS Safety Thermometer is a local improvement tool for measuring, monitoring and analysing patient harms and 'harm free' care.

Supporting 'harm free' care

The NHS Safety Thermometer provides a quick and simple method for surveying patient harms and analysing results so that you can measure and monitor local improvement and harm free care (external) over time.

From April 2015 data collected using the NHS Safety Thermometer is included in the NHS Standard Contract under Schedule 6B.

Using the tool

The analysis charting functions are built in to the NHS Safety Thermometer, so you can see the results straight away. As well as recording pressure ulcers, falls, catheters, UT Is and VTEs, you can record and analyse additional local information.

The NHS Safety Thermometer includes a function for merging patient safety data across all the teams and wards in your organisation, and a built-in mechanism to submit data to the Health and Social Care Information Centre for inclusion and publication in the national database.

Accessing the NHS Safety Thermometer

Every organisation can have access to the NHS Safety Thermometer through their Safety Thermometer Coordinator

To register as your organisation's Safety Thermometer Coordinator

  • Simply complete this email with your details
  • Ensure the email address you apply from is the one you'll use to submit data.
  • Once your details have been processed and verified we will send you a copy of the Safety Thermometer and guidance. You can share this across your organisation, but you'll be the only person who can submit your organisation's data.

The NHS Safety Thermometer and all associated tools and materials are Copyright © Health and Social Care Information Centre and may only be used under licence by providers of NHS Care in England for the purposes of supporting their own provision of healthcare and or related statutory functions. It may not be used for any other purposes without the express permission of the NHS Information Centre.

By installing, copying or otherwise using this software you agree to the terms of the End User Licence Agreement for the NHS Safety Thermometer available here.

Help and support

The NHS Safety Thermometer has built-in help and a user guide document.

You can download a printable survey form in both PDF and Excel format to record a survey so that you can key it into the NHS Safety Thermometer later, if that's more convenient. Thank you to Julie Sage for the prototype. 

pdf icon Printable ST Survey Data collection form [252kb]

xls icon Printable ST Survey Data collection form [159kb]

You can also contact us at or 0300 303 5678 for help about using the Safety Thermometer.

There is also a range of guidance, case studies and safety improvement training material available on the harm free website under the resources tab (external).

Data and submission timetable

The pdf icon timetable for submission [138kb] shows when you can submit Safety Thermometer data and when the national data is available each month.

Previous versions of the timetable are below:

pdf icon NHS Safety Thermometer Data Submission Timetable - 2012-2013 [131kb]

pdf icon NHS Safety Thermometer Data Submission Timetable - 2013-2014 [134kb]

pdf icon NHS Safety Thermometer Data Submission Timetable - 2014-2015 [214kb]

pdf icon NHS Safety Thermometer Data Submission Timetable - 2015-2016 [343kb]

Data release

Following submission your data is collated with data from other organisations, and then made available for analysis at local, regional and national level.

Publication and analysis

The Health and Social Care Information Centre publish the NHS Safety Thermometer data as Official Statistics.

The data can, and should, be used by NHS colleagues to help drive improvements in patient safety across the service.

Colleagues in different parts of the country have developed some useful and innovative analyses using the National Safety Thermometer data and you may find these useful in your own locality, for example:

South East Coast Quality Observatory dashboard (external)


We welcome your feedback. If you have any suggestions for improving the tool please email and put 'Safety Thermometer' in the subject line of your email.

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