New report looks at role of Patient Safety Collaboratives in supporting safer care during COVID-19

The AHSN Network Safer care during COVID-19 report cover


A rapid-learning report on the role of Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) during the pandemic has been published by the AHSN Network. PSCs are just one part of the health and care system which responded quickly to the immediate crisis from COVID-19 in March.

They reprioritised their day-to-day work and took on new programmes at speed, such as promoting safer tracheostomy care.

The report has been published as part of the NHS Reset campaign and gives examples of how PSCs refocused their work ‘almost overnight’ to respond to the pandemic.

It illustrates some of the creative ways AHSNs supported their local systems and how this experience will be built into future patient safety programmes.

Included within the report are case studies about how health and care professionals from Greater Manchester worked with tech company Safe Steps to develop a UK-first digital innovation to help care homes track COVID-19 and coordinate care with GP practices, social care and hospitals to optimally support vulnerable residents. You can find out more about how Health Innovation Manchester has been involved in this work online here.

The report also includes how PSCs work to rapidly improve tracheostomy care. Read blogs from Dr Brendan McGrath, national clinical advisor for the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes’ COVID-19 safe tracheostomy care response and intensive care consultant at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Jay Hamilton, Associate Director of Health & Implementation and Patient Safety Collaborative Lead at Health Innovation Manchester about the work.

Natasha Swinscoe, lead AHSN Network chief officer for patient safety, said: “AHSNs and PSCs have a unique ability to connect people, and work at both system level and with individual organisations to swiftly capitalise on opportunities. As we consider the health and care reset, I hope we have learned from the last few months to be brave and understand that transformation can start small and grow quickly when the right factors are in place.”

Cheryl Crocker, AHSN Patient Safety Director, said: “Most of us will never have experienced anything this challenging in our professional lives. PSCs are just one part of the system which has played their part in a national emergency. This time in our history is unprecedented and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of positive changes. Cycles of change have been accelerated in order to make care safer for patients.”

PSCs are funded and nationally coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and hosted locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). The Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Patient Safety Collaborative is hosted by Health Innovation Manchester. PSCs make a significant contribution to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, through the PSCs’ work supporting the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes and the AHSNs’ focus on accelerating innovation.

You can out more about PSCs on the AHSN Network Website and download the report at

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