Involving Patients in Safety

The Francis report1 into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust concluded that the majority of cases of significant harm could have been avoided if the organisation had listened to the patients in their care.  Quality improvement2-3 and patient safety experts4-6 increasingly agree on the value of involving patients if the quality and safety of health services are to be improved.  Patients and their carers are now considered sources of vital intelligence and energy for a system where the demands increase whilst resources become less available 7-8.

  1. Francis R. Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. London: The Stationery office. 2013.
  2. Berwick D. A promise to learn – a commitment to act: improving the safety of patients in England. London: Department of Health. 2013.
  3. Ham C, Berwick D, Dixon, J. Improving Quality in the English NHS. London: Kings Fund. 2016.
  4. Lawton R, O'Hara JK, Sheard L, Reynolds C, Cocks K, Armitage G, et al. Can staff and patient perspectives on hospital safety predict harm-free care? An analysis of staff and patient survey data and routinely collected outcomes. 2015.
  5. O'Hara J & Isden R. Identifying Risks and Monitoring Safety - the role of patients and citizens. London: The Health Foundation. 2013.
  6. Vincent, C & Davis R. Patients and families as safety experts. CMAJ January 10, 2012 vol. 184 no 1
  7. Stevens S. Full text of Simon Stevens’ speech. [Internet]. 2014 [cited 17 June 2016]. NHS England website.
  8. NHS England. The NHS 5 year forward view. [Internet]. 2014. [cited 20 June 2016]. NHS England website.

The Improvement Academy is currently enhancing the voice of patients in patient safety through the following initiative:


Patient and Public Engagement

Find out more about how we involve patients and the public in all our work.

Claire Marsh


01274 383926