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A framework for measuring and monitoring safety © Vincent, Burnett and Carthey (2013)
A framework for measuring and monitoring safety


Patients, clinicians, managers all want to be reassured that their healthcare organisation is safe. But there is no consensus about what we mean when we ask whether a healthcare organisation is safe or how is this achieved.

In 2013, Charles Vincent and colleagues published a report commissioned by The Health Foundation on safety measurement in the NHS. Drawing in part on approaches used outside of health care, the report proposes a more rounded way of understanding safety, focused on five dimensions, as summarised in framework diagram shown here.

The Health Foundation is now testing and developing the model further. Three regional improvement bodies in England and Scotland have been commissioned to develop, test and evaluate the approach. The aim is to collectively develop insights, approaches and materials to support NHS-wide use of the framework in practice.

Our group is now working to track the progress of the framework and its use and impact in the NHS and international healthcare.

You can download a full and summary copy of the report for free here:  

The publication is available open access here:

Funded by

The Health Foundation

Research Team

This project is led by Charles Vincent in collaboration with Eleanor Chatburn.