Patient safety

“High quality patient care at every contact is the aim of the primary care team.”
The NHS Patient Safety Strategy, 2019


Read the free ebook – Safer Healthcare: Strategies for the Real World by Charles Vincent and René Amalberti, (2016) argues for the need for safety strategies which are aimed at managing risk in the complex and adverse daily working conditions of healthcare. Chapter 9 looks at safety strategies in primary care, while chapter 11 is a compendium of safety strategies and interventions.

The Patient Safety Academy offers a number of training courses commissioned by HEVTV including

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) was transferred to NHS Improvement in 2016.

Promoting patient safety in general practice

The Freedom to Speak Up in Healthcare in England programme to support NHS staff who want to raise concerns on issues such as patient safety is being updated during national Speak up Month 2020.

Improving safety in primary care: The Health Foundation reports that the strategies showing promise target the key causes of harm in primary care: clinical complexity (via computerised prescribing and alert systems), human factors (via pharmacist input) and systems issues (using learning collaboratives, audit, feedback and discharge planning to improve interfaces with secondary care).

The BMJ Patient Safety is resource centre for NHS staff including research, national standards, implementation guidelines and case studies to help ensure patients always receive safe and reliable care. See those related to Primary Care here.

Following the death of a patient during a routine operation the Clinical Human Factors Group  was established to enhance patient safety by combining human factors with an approach to change informed by improvement science. Watch a video by the bereaved husband and take a look at their learning resources around primary and social care.

Significant Event Audit

The RCGP Revalidation Toolkit includes  – Significant Event Analysis: a guide for GP appraisers and appraisees

Significant Event Audit in Primary Care – The Improvement Academy has produced a set of resources to enhance the effectiveness of significant event audit in primary care by embedding Human Factors theory into a standardised review process.

GMC Revalidation

As part of a 5 yearly revalidation process GPs submit a portfolio of Supporting Information to demonstrate that they continue to meet the principles and values set out in Good Medical Practice. Safety and quality is one of the four domains within this core guidance for doctors from the GMC.

Care Quality Commission
Information for GPs

CQC has an online facility for you to get further information and manage your CQC application. As CQC checks on compliance with essential standards, it focuses on one or more of the 16 that most directly relate to the quality and safety of care. Read about the Essential Standards.

CQC – Inspecting and regulating GP services – (video) Listen to Professor Steve Field, CQC’s Chief Inspector of General Practice on YouTube as he talks about how CQC is inspecting GPs and GP out of hours services from April 2014.

IHI Open School

The mission of the IHI Open School is to advance health care improvement and patient safety competencies in the next generation of health professionals worldwide. As well as its subscription based online courses, the School offers a collection of free resources — improvement stories, videos, publications, tools, audio clips, activities, and links to other recommended websites.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 27 November, 2020