Patient safety is fundamental to the provision of high-quality services and is defined by NHS England as:

"Maximising the things that go right and minimising the things that go wrong for people experiencing healthcare."

The impact of patient harm is felt widely by patients, families, loved ones and the teams delivering care.

Our vision is to embed a culture of patient safety across AWP and across pathways of care. We are aiming for our staff to have an environment in which they can consistently understand factors that impact on patient safety, to enable them to:

  • collaborate
  • support innovation
  • share learning in relation to patient safety across AWP and with patients, carers and wider agencies and partners

We acknowledge that there has been a fear of blame within the NHS and we want our staff to feel safe:

  • to report incidents without fear of reprisal
  • to question practice or resources
  • in their daily work

We recognise that our staff are our greatest asset. We are committed to developing a culture of learning, transparency and openness that enables us to continue to develop patient safety and make AWP a great place to work in health and social care.

Patient Safety Incident Response Framework

PSIRF is the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework and sets out the NHS’s approach to developing and maintaining effective systems and processes for responding to patient safety incidents for the purpose of learning and improving patient safety.

Aidan Fowler, National Director of Patient Safety, NHS England – “The introduction of this framework represents a significant shift in the way the NHS responds to patient safety incidents, increasing focus on understanding how incidents happen – including the factors which contribute to them.“

The new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) outlines how providers should respond to patient safety incidents, allowing for more effective learning and improvement.

The PSIRF aims to improve safety management across the healthcare system and embed the key principles of patient safety culture, ensuring the NHS focuses on understanding how incidents happen, rather than apportioning blame on individuals, and ultimately making NHS care safer for patients.

AWP has developed alongside key stakeholders a patient safety incident response plan which sets out how we will respond to patient safety incidents reported by staff and patients, their families and carers as part of work to continually improve the quality and safety of the care provided.

The plan sets out the ways AWP intends to respond to patient safety incidents to learn and improve through patient safety incident investigations and patient safety reviews.

In the years ahead, the Trust will seek data and insight from stakeholders to inform potential future categories for local patient safety incident investigation and system improvement.

Compassionate engagement and involvement of those affected by patient safety incidents is central to PSIRF and to support staff in this, we have developed a new handbook called Compassionate Communication, Meaningful Engagement which is available below.

Compassionate Communication, Meaningful Engagement

The new ​'Compassionate Communication, Meaningful Engagement' handbook has been developed by six NHS Trusts, including AWP in partnership with Making Families Count and aims to improve collaboration with patients, their families, and carers.

The handbook includes principles of compassionate engagement, the roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals, and information about the processes following an incident. It also brings together a range of signposting information and resources for both families and staff.