Patient Safety Strategy

The NHS patient safety strategy | NHS Improvement 

This strategy sets out what the NHS will do to achieve its vision to continuously improve patient safety.  To do this the NHS will build on two foundations: a patient safety culture and a patient safety system.

Three strategic aims will support the development of both:
• improving understanding of safety by drawing intelligence from multiple
sources of patient safety information (Insight)
• equipping patients, staff and partners with the skills and opportunities to
improve patient safety throughout the whole system (Involvement)
• designing and supporting programmes that deliver effective and sustainable
change in the most important areas (Improvement).

Full document: The NHS Patient Safety Strategy. Safer culture, safer systems, safer

See also: How data can shape a safer NHS|  Nuffield Trust blog

Innovating with NHS data

Public attitudes to organisations innovating with NHS data | National Data Guardian


The National Data Guardian (NDG) has released findings from a poll on public attitudes to NHS organisations working with partners to use data to develop new medicines and technologies to improve health.

The poll tested what the public thought would be fair when partnerships with universities or private companies result in valuable new discoveries that could be traded commercially.  It found strong support for the idea that NHS and patients should benefit from such partnerships although significant proportions of respondents said they neither agreed nor disagreed with whether the range of benefits was fair.

The NDG is now calling for a debate about the relationships between the NHS and those innovating with NHS data.

Full detail: NDG poll findings

Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare

Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare | Reform 

This report examines the current landscape of data-driven technologies and their applications in mental healthcare, highlighting areas where these tools offer the most potential for the NHS and its patients.  It discusses what makes mental health different from other areas of health, and the implications this has for the application of data-driven tools. It examines barriers to implementation, and proposes ways to move forward.

Key recommendations:

  • The National Institute for Care and Health Excellence should make guidelines and protocols machine-readable to inform Clinical Decision Support Systems used in mental healthcare. This would make the guidelines more accessible to frontline practitioners and enable the guidelines to be continuously improved in accordance with up-to-date clinical evidence.
  • In order to improve understanding of mental health conditions, NHS Digital should develop a repository using data held by NHS organisations to help researchers securely identify suitable participants for mental health research studies and assess the feasibility of research projects at early stages. Similar governance frameworks to the Scottish Health Research Register should be employed.
  • NHSX should require all healthcare providers to design interoperable systems and ensure data portability. This would allow data generated from technologies such as wearables and sensors to be transferred across platforms.

Full report: Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare

Data-Driven Tech in Mental Healthcare: Why is this research important?



In health care, data is not the ‘new’ anything – it is a paradigm shift

The Health Foundation | June 2019 |In health care, data is not the ‘new’ anything – it is a paradigm shift

A guest blog post from Indra Joshi,  Digital Health and AI Clinical Lead for NHSX, and Jess Morley a Tech Adviser / AI Lead for NHSX, considers how data in the NHS is a paradigm shift from how data has been used before.

Blog available from The Health Foundation 


How One Junior Doctor Is Developing Tech To Modernize The NHS

Forbes | June 2019| How One Junior Doctor Is Developing Tech To Modernize The NHS

A new article in Forbes magazine, highlights the work of Paediatrician, Dr Lydia Yarlott a junior doctor who is using technology to  improve efficiencies across the NHS and accelerate patient care. In 2016 Dr Yarlott created Forward, a messaging platform which is a safe alternative to WhatsApp and older technology such as pagers. 


Yarlott’s invention will  make it easier for doctors and nurses to communicate in hospitals and give them more life-saving time. One estimate is that the NHS uses 130,000 pagers alone, which represents 10% of global usage and costs £6.6 million yearly.

Yarlott says:”We are developing Forward as a smartphone app which clinicians download for free and use to contact one another, exchange patient information and make decisions, and manage their workload,” (Source: Forbes)

Read the full news story at Forbes 

Advisory council set up to make the most of an ageing society

A new council of specialists from across society, the UK Longevity Council, will advise how best to use innovations in technology, products and services to improve the lives of our ageing population | via Department of Health and Social Care 


With the number of people aged over 65 set to nearly double to more than 20 million in under 50 years, the government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge is designed to harness the power of innovation to meet the changing needs of an older society.

It also aims to ensure that people across the UK enjoy an extra 5 years of healthy and independent living by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and the poorest.

The UK Longevity Council is a vital part of this. It will bring together business leaders, health experts and others from society to advise government on the steps we can take to help everyone lead healthier lives, while exploring how the UK can position itself to lead the world in the growing market for age-related products and services.

The council will act as a forum for interactions and discussions between policy makers, industry, researchers and the public in the area of ageing, and will advise on:

  • how we can think differently about work, finances, housing, communities and health, and explore new technologies, products and services that will benefit and enrich our older population
  • what the government’s high-level priorities should be in relation to demographic change
  • supporting both local and international work to ensure the UK is a global leader and UK businesses can capitalise on global opportunities

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care

Understanding primary care networks

Understanding primary care networks: context, benefits and risks |  The Health Foundation


This briefing places Primary Care Networks (PCNs)  in the context of previous changes to general practice funding and contracting. It examines the rationale for networks, explores relevant evidence and draws out intended benefits and possible risks for the future of PCNs.

Key points
  • From 1 July 2019, all patients in England will be covered by a primary care network (PCN) – the most significant reform to general practice in England in a generation.
  • PCNs should help to integrate primary care with secondary and community services, and bridge a gap between general practice and emerging Integrated Care Systems.
  • Since January 2019, practices have been organising themselves into local networks to provide care at greater scale by sharing staff and some of their funding.
  • While PCNs offer huge potential to integrate care and improve services, there is a risk that the speed of implementation will undermine the best intentions of the policy.

Full briefing: Understanding primary care networks . Context, benefits and risks

Additional link: NHS England press release | NHS England blog

‘NHS Skype doctors and nurses’ prevent thousands of avoidable hospital trips

NHS England | June 2019 | ‘NHS Skype doctors and nurses’ prevent thousands of avoidable hospital trips

An on call Skype NHS team takes around 8,000 calls a year from wardens working in sheltered accommodation, care home staff and community teams looking for expert support for their residents. The innovation is from Tameside, Greater Manchester as part of a programme of integrated services being rolled-out across the country as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with smart use of technology enabling quicker, more personal care delivered as efficiently as possible.


Previously, they would have had to call an ambulance, but in the last two years they have prevented 3,000 avoidable visits to A&E and freed up 2,000 GP appointments by solving problems via Skype, meaning elderly people get the right support in their own home, avoiding the disruption – and in some cases distress – of an emergency hospital trip (Source: NHS England).

Full details from NHS England