National Programme —

System Safety

Creating optimal conditions for patient safety improvement across systems.

Doctor and patient discussing something while sitting at the table

Aiming to support systems to create optimal conditions for patient safety improvement.

Supporting the national adoption and scaling of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF).

Detailed Programme Information

Aiming to create optimal conditions for patient safety improvement across systems.

The System Safety Improvement Programme is a programme of work led by NHS England National Patient Safety team. 

Here in the South West, the South West Patient Safety Collaborative are working with our local Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly to create safer systems of care throughout our region. 

Our aim is to: 

  • Support the national implementation of the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF), published by NHS England in August 2022. Our work is guided by the PSIRF implementation preparation and planning guidance.  
  • Work alongside ICS patient safety teams to support optimal, sustainable conditions for patient safety improvement across our region to deliver the priorities within the NHS Patient Safety Strategy. 

What is PSIRF? 

The new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) outlines how NHS organisations should respond to patient safety incidents for the purposes of learning and improving to provide safer patient care. 

The framework will replace the current Serious Incident Response Framework by Autumn 2023 and represents a significant shift in the way the NHS responds to patient safety incidents, centring on compassion and involving those affected; system-based approaches to learning and improvement; considered and proportionate responses; and supportive oversight.  

PSIRF is a major step towards improving safety management across the healthcare system in England and will greatly support the NHS to embed the key principles of a patient safety culture. It will ensure the NHS focuses on understanding how incidents happen, rather than apportioning blame on individuals; allowing for more effective learning and improvement, and ultimately making NHS care safer for patients.  

Find out more about PSIRF on the NHS England website 

Patient Safety Collaboratives have been commissioned to support the national adoption and scale up of PSIRF with fidelity to core principles, working in collaboration with partners in NHS England’s regional teams.  

Our offer includes supporting learning and sharing as organisations move through the preparation period and transition from their existing Serious Incident Framework to PSIRF. We are also working to support the emerging patient safety structures within systems and connecting to relevant regional and national networks. 

Get in touch

For more information about our System Safety workstream, please contact Victoria Salmon, Programme Manager.

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