The Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) sets out the NHS's approach to developing and maintaining effective systems and processes for responding to patient safety incidents for the purpose of learning and improving patient safety It is intended to support one of the key aims of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, to help the NHS improve its understanding of safety by drawing insight from patient safety incidents. This will replace the Serious Incident Framework with organisations expected to transition to PSIRF within 12 months of its publication, by Autumn 2023.
Guidance documents and templates
- Patient Safety Incident Response Framework
- Engaging and involving patients, families and staff following a patient safety incident
- Guide to responding proportionally to patient safety incidents
- Oversight roles and responsibilities specification
- Patient safety incident response standards
- PSIRF Preparation guide
- PSIRF policy and plan templates
- Patient safety learning response toolkit
The PSIRF is a contractual requirement under the NHS Standard Contract and as such is mandatory for services provided under that contract, including acute, ambulance, mental health, and community healthcare providers.
Its intention is to support the development and maintenance of an effective patient safety incident response system that integrates four key aims:
- Compassionate engagement and involvement of those affected by patient safety incidents.
- Application of a range of system-based approaches to learning from patient safety incidents.
- Considered and proportionate responses to patient safety incidents.
- Supportive oversight focused on strengthening response system functioning and improvement.
As part of this change, organisations are required to develop a thorough understanding of their patient safety incident profile, ongoing safety actions (in response to recommendations from investigations) and established improvement programmes. A patient safety incident response planning exercise is used to inform what the organisation’s proportionate response to patient safety incidents should be. The PSIRF approach is designed to be flexible and adapt as organisations learn and improve, so they explore patient safety incidents relevant to their context and the populations they serve.