What is patient safety?

Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of healthcare delivery. The field of patient safety is the coordinated effort to prevent harm, caused by the process of health care itself, from occurring to patients. 

What are the aims of the PRIME PatIent SAfety (PISA) group?

PISA aims to determine the frequency, burden and preventability of healthcare associated harm in primary and emergency care settings, and to develop and implement interventions to improve patient safety in priority areas. 

How do we improve patient safety?

  1. We use mixed methods research techniques to generate learning from patient safety incidents reports submitted to the England and Wales National Reporting and Learning System to empirically inform quality improvement initiatives and projects to improve patient safety

  2. We use quality improvement tools to summarise research findings to work with frontline healthcare professionals to co-produce quality improvement plans for practice and care improvement.

  3. We evaluate the development, testing and implementation of patient safety interventions to understand how and in what contexts they can improve outcomes.

  4. We train the workforce to recognise, report and learn from patient safety incidents through e-learning courses, national seminars, and practical ‘how to’ guides.

  5. We build capacity and capability of health service researchers to investigate patient safety (postgraduate students, clinical academics, post-doctoral fellows) and partner with organisations to advance their patient safety agenda.

  6. We influence national and international policy about patient safety. 

How can you get involved

  • Take a course on patient safety in primary care on the Royal College of General Practitioners e-learning site (accessible to all): http://elearning.rcgp.org.uk
  • Read our academic outputs and design an improvement project informed by our national-level analyses of patient safety incident reports for priority issues in primary care.
  • Submit an expression of interest for MPhil / PhD study of patient safety
  • Seek methodological input to develop your research proposals
  • Undertake a secondment with the PISA group
  • Want more information? Email the PISA group lead: carson-stevensap@cardiff.ac.uk


Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens, Cardiff University

Research projects

Please visit the 'Research Portfolio' page and select WP6 from the drop-down list.

WP6 Publications

Please visit the 'Publications' page and select WP6 from the drop-down list.

WP6 Resources

The PRIME Work Package 6: Patient safety poster (pdf) is available to view and download.