Patient Safety

Patient Safety

Patient safety is the avoidance of unintended or unexpected harm to people during the provision of health care. We support providers to minimise patient safety incidents and drive improvements in safety and quality. Patients should be treated in a safe environment and protected from avoidable harm.

The NHS Patient Safety Strategy describes how the NHS will continuously improve patient safety, building on the foundations of a safer culture and safer systems

Patient safety improvement programmes (SIPs) prioritise some of the most important safety issues across the NHS in England. They use quality improvement methodology to reduce unnecessary patient harm or death and to improve care. 

The Quality and Patient Safety Team

The Quality and Safety Team ensures that safe, effective and high-quality health services are commissioned and delivered for the population of St Helens. The team works to promote a culture of openness and transparency where incidents and errors are learned from, and where a culture of improvement is influenced across the health and social care community. As such, the team places the needs of people at the centre of all its work to ensure that we learn from people’s experiences and we make it a priority to maintain a focus on high quality patient care and outcomes. Our Quality Scrutiny and Assurance Committee provide our governance.  

Monitoring of Quality

Quality assurance is considered under the 3 pillars of;

  • Patient safety
  • Patient experience
  • Clinical effectiveness.

These three key areas are monitored by the team as part of the quality reporting requirements which is set out within all NHS Contracts (Schedule 4).

All providers contracted by the CCGs (including, primary care, acute hospitals, community services, mental health services, independent hospitals and third sector services) are required to provide assurance to the CCGs on the quality of their services and their compliance with national quality requirements. This assurance is sought through a programme of regular clinical quality meetings, alongside the receiving of detailed reports and supporting data, which would outline any actions and learning to support quality improvement and mitigation against any identified organisational risks. Collaborative working with co-commissioners, Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS England, NHS Improvement and Healthwatch ensures a system-wide overview of quality assurance.

Management of the Serious Incidents Framework

The Quality and Safety Team work closely with all providers to ensure that all patients are protected from avoidable harm. When serious incidents are reported, under the application of the NHS Serious Incident Framework 2015, they are fully investigated by providers with any learning shared across organisations. The team ensures a robust and comprehensive process, supporting the collation and review of information from the initial reporting of an incident through to the completion of action plans and formal closure of the incident. Similarly, the review of Significant Event Audits, ensures learning from any untoward events that have occurred in a primary care setting. The following documents support this process:

Support to the wider commissioning team

The Quality and Safety Team works across other CCG departments, providing subject matter expertise and guidance to colleagues. This ensures the commissioning and development of services promotes a culture of openness and transparency, equality and diversity and shared learning to support quality improvement and safety at its core.


CCG Patient Safety Contacts

Quality & Patient Safety Manager

Dylan Ellis

Quality & Patient Safety Officer

Claire Holtby

Serious Incident generic contact