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Research and Projects

The Patient Safety Collaborative Evaluation Study (PiSCES)

Who is involved?

Theme: CLAHRC - Evidence for Policy and Practice
Status: Live

PiSCES is funded by a Department of Health Policy Research Programme grant.


The Francis Report into patient safety showed that the major changes needed to deliver safe healthcare in a reliable way, have not yet taken place. Patients and the public should, as a basic expectation, be offered safe healthcare and this should be a core responsibility for healthcare organisations.

In its response to the Francis Report, the Government created a policy to implement a network of 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) across England, lasting for a minimum of five years. This programme, coordinated by NHS England, will provide safety improvements across all healthcare settings and aims to empower local patients and healthcare staff to work together to identify safety priorities and develop solutions. These will then be implemented and tested within local healthcare organisations before being shared nationally with the other collaboratives

Project aims

PiSCES aims to evaluate the progress of PSCs in the first two years, determining the difference they are making and how their impact can be maximised in the remainder of the programme period.

The PiSCES team will use three different research methods to achieve this:

  • Independent interviews with staff and patients involved in PSCs. These interviews will find out how the PSCs have been run, what impact they have had on the organisations involved and whether there is a belief that care has improved. The interviews are designed to indicate which parts of the collaboratives worked or did not.

  • The use of existing data to compare levels of harm before the PSC programme, at the start and after two years, using the same data to compare across all PSCs. Patient and staff surveys will also be analysed to assess the differences made by the PSCs, both in their own area and in comparison to PSCs elsewhere.

  • A questionnaire completed by staff at the start and at the end of the evaluation, which is designed to assess how teams and their organisations think about patient safety. Previous research shows that the results of such a survey reflect the standard of care given and the potential for patients being unintentionally harmed.

The results of each of these research approaches will be combined into a final report and widely disseminated to inform necessary changes in practice.