This framework provides guidance on how the NHS can involve people in their own safety as well as improving patient safety in partnership with staff. It is relevant to all NHS trusts and commissioners and should also be useful to other NHS settings, including primary care and community services, that are considering how they can involve patients in safety.
About the framework
This sets out how NHS organisations should involve patients in patient safety and is divided into two parts:
- Part A: Involving patients in their own safety
- Part B: Patient safety partner (PSP) involvement in organisational safety
Part A: Involving patients in their own safety
The first part of this framework describes how organisations should support patients, their families and carers to be directly involved in their own or their loved one’s safety. It provides guidance on the following approaches to this:
Encouraging patients to ask questions by:
- asking them directly if they have any queries about their care
- providing leaflets, videos and apps to encourage patients to ask questions or raise issues with professionals
Individual information-sharing sessions for patients, including proactively involving them in:
- monitoring their symptoms
- understanding their medications
- following up on test results and appointments
- making choices about their care, where appropriate
Information campaigns such as those encouraging people to be vigilant about staff, visitors and patients cleaning their hands.
Reporting incidents by:
- raising concerns through complaints systems
- flagging them to staff them to the online national reporting system (currently the National Reporting and Learning System, NRLS; to be replaced by the Learn from patient safety events (LFPSE)
Individual involvement in incident investigation.
Part B: Patient safety partner involvement in organisational safety
The second part of this framework describes how organisations should support PSPs to be involved in wider governance and leadership of safety activities.
PSP involvement in organisational safety relates to the role that patients and other lay people can play in supporting and contributing to a healthcare organisation’s governance and management processes for patient safety. Roles for PSPs can therefore include:
- membership of safety and quality committees whose responsibilities include the review and analysis of safety data
- involvement in patient safety improvement projects
- working with organisation boards to consider how to improve safety
- involvement in staff patient safety training
- participation in investigation oversight groups.
Links to the Framework:
- Framework for involving patients in patient safety
- Framework for involving patients in patient safety summary
- Framework for involving patients in patient safety: Easy read version
- Framework for involving patients in patient safety: Appendices