Supporting acute, ambulance, mental health, and community healthcare providers to develop and maintain effective systems and processes for responding to patient safety incidents to enable learning and patient safety improvements.

The National Patient Safety programme’s System Safety workstream aims to create optimal conditions for patient safety improvement across health and integrated care systems. This includes the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF)  and Patient Safety Collaborative Safety Networks.

PSIRF, announced in August 2022, sets out a new approach for NHS organisations to respond to patient safety incidents and ensure compassionate engagement with those affected.

The framework supports the key principles of a patient safety culture. It focuses on understanding how incidents happen and, rather than seeking to blame, allows for more effective learning and, ultimately, safer care for patients.

Secondary care organisations are asked to begin a 12-month period of preparation before moving to PSIRF from the existing Serious Incident Framework.

A range of resources to support organisations with PSIRF are available on the NHS England website .

The Systems Safety Improvement Programme is led by the National Patient Safety Team and delivered by AHSN-hosted Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs). The Systems Safety Improvement Programme supports the NHS England Patient Safety Strategy .

Key ambitions:

  • Mobilise effective Integrated Care System level Patient Safety Improvement Networks to deliver the priorities within the NHS Patient Safety Strategy.
  • Support the national adoption and scale-up of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF).