Safety Measurement Framework

In a nutshell: The Improvement Academy is working with frontline NHS organisations to test the Measurement and Monitoring of Safety Framework developed by Professor Charles Vincent. Our goal is to help organisations understand 'How safe is our care' and identify areas which present greatest opportunity for safety improvement.

The Challenge

Patient safety is a priority and there are questions over whether the NHS is any safer today than it was 10 years ago. Current approaches to measurement focus on past harm and have fundamental flaws. Patient safety incident reporting picks up less than 5% of true harm within hospitals. In healthcare, we need to move on from a focus on past harm, to understanding how safe care is on a day to day basis, anticipating potential harms and taking action to mitigate harm before it happens.

What are we doing about it?

The Improvement Academy has been awarded funding from the Health Foundation for a programme of work to review and redefine the way we approach measures of safety in healthcare. In Phase 1 of this work, the Measurement and Monitoring Safety Framework was tested in two frontline NHS organisations (Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford District Care Trust) to map current measures against the Framework, identify gaps and use new and innovative methods to address these (e.g. case-note review, PRASE, safety culture and huddles).

In Phase 2, a roundtable event and three workshop events have taken place to engage seven organisations from around the region in using the MMSF and to support learning and application of the framework in practice. The journey the seven organisations have been on during this project will be shared at a celebration event on the 19th September in Leeds.

To help healthcare students conceptualize the many facets of patient safety the framework has also been introduced to faculty within academic settings.


Alongside our partners the UK Improvement Alliance (UKIA), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), Haelo and Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), we have launched a new interactive e-guide - Better Questions, Safer Care to support organisations to using the Framework to improve patient safety.

Within the e guide the experiences of four regional improvement bodies - AQuA, Haelo, HIS and the Improvement Academy - have been condensed into helpful case studies and templates to support learning around the potential uses and applications of the framework.

The principles are broadly applicable to all settings, in the e-guide you will find examples – from Board to ward within the following areas:

  • Ambulance services
  • Mental health
  • Acute hospitals
  • Primary care

For further information and related resources, please visit: www.howsafeisourcare.com

Stay up-to-date on social media through the Twitter hashtag #THFSMP

Our future plans

  • A celebration event to enable organisations to share the work done so far around the framework.

MMSF Celebration Event
Tuesday 19th September 2017
The Studio, Leeds

To reserve your place, contact Shahima.Begum@yhahsn.nhs.uk

  • The team are hosting a series of phone calls and national events to provide opportunities to learn more about the framework and its application in practice. 


Teamwork and Safety Culture Survey

Measurement of team safety culture is a core element of our patient safety work. The Improvement Academy is using a validated tool developed by University of Texas within a framework of systematic team-level data collection and analysis.