England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and the Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) they host are making a significant contribution to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, through the PSCs’ work supporting the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes and the AHSNs’ focus on accelerating innovation.

‘Patient safety in partnership: Our plan for a safer future 2019-2025’ has been developed to support the NHS Patient Safety Strategy published in 2019, and details how AHSNs will work more closely with health and care organisations to improve safety both in hospitals and community-based services, such as care homes.


Patient safety during COVID-19

We have developed a range of resources to help staff and support patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, including managing deterioration, pulse oximetry, tracheostomy safety, webinars for GPs and advice for care homes. Read more here.

The AHSN Network published a report on Safer care during COVID-19 in September 2020 as part of the NHS Reset campaign. It illustrates some of the creative ways PSCs supported their local systems during the pandemic and how this experience will be built into future patient safety programmes.


Improving safety in care homes

This report, published in 2019, explores case studies of ways safety for residents of care homes is being improved. The publication showcases over 30 examples of projects in medicines safety, dementia, monitoring and screening, and workforce development. You can download the report here.


Patient Safety Collaboratives

England’s 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) play an essential role in identifying and spreading safer care initiatives from within the NHS and industry, ensuring these are shared and implemented throughout the health and care system.

PSCs are funded and nationally coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and hosted locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

They deliver the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (SIPs), which are a key part of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, and collectively form the largest safety initiative in the history of the NHS.

The SIPs aim to create continuous and sustainable improvement in settings such as maternity units, emergency departments, mental health trusts, GP practices and care homes through:

  • Culture: They promote positive safety culture, encouraging staff to gain insight and share learning from both good and poor practice.
  • Evidence-based improvement: They support evidence-based, quality improvement (QI) methodology, ensuring change is consistently measured and evaluated.
  • Quality improvement (QI) capability: They grow QI capability in trusts and local healthcare systems so they can continue to improve.
  • System-level change: They enable regional and local health systems to identify improvement priorities and share learning.


The current programmes are:

  • Managing deterioration
  • Medicines safety
  • Maternity and neonatal
  • Mental health
  • Adoption and spread


You can find out more about the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes and view more resources here.

If you would like to get in touch with your local Patient Safety Collaborative, please use the contact details for the AHSNs.