Learning report: Safer Patients Initiative

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The Safer Patients Initiative (SPI) was the first major improvement programme addressing patient safety in the UK. The purpose of SPI was to test ways of improving patient safety on an organisation-wide basis within NHS hospitals.

This learning report provides an overview of the Safer Patients Initiative (phases 1 and 2) and its evaluation. It highlights the impact of the programme, key lessons and further issues for exploration.

The report explains that:

  • there were significant improvements at a micro-system level where participant sites saw improvements in patient safety in specific clinical areas, such as a ward or critical care unit
  • the initiative was effective in raising awareness and galvanising action around the issue of avoidable harm to patients
  • the programme was successful in engaging senior managers whose support and enthusiasm helped to make safety an organisational priority
  • at an organisation-wide level, however, the evaluation found no additional impact of the programme within the timeframe.

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