Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust implemented the new  Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) in November 2023. 

PSIRF 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.

Patient safety incidents are unintended or unexpected events (including omissions) in healthcare that could have or did harm one or more patients.

Theatre practitioner at work.jpgPSIRF replaces the previous Serious Incident Framework (2015) and aims to help NHS providers investigate and respond to serious incidents more effectively.

One of the key changes is that the new framework removes the "serious incidents" classification.

In its place it promotes a proportionate approach to responding to patient safety incidents, to get a balance between the resources allocated to learning and those needed to deliver improvement. PSIRF includes the following key aims:

  • Compassionate engagement and involvement of those affected by patient safety incidents
  • Application of a range of system-based approaches to learning from patient safety incidents
  • Considered and proportionate responses to patient safety incidents
  • Supportive oversight focused on strengthening response system functioning and improvement
  • Organisations should be enabled to provide a tailored approach focused on their local priorities

The principles and practices within the PSIRF embody all aspects of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy and wider initiatives under the strategy, including the introduction of patient safety specialists, development of a national patient safety syllabus, development of the involving patients in patient safety framework and introduction of the Learn from Patient Safety Events service.

The NHS Patient Safety Strategy sits alongside and supports the NHS Long Term Plan.