Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


UCL Partners Patient Safety Collaborative

The team:

Mirza LalaniResearch Assistant, UCL

Project Summary

In 2014 NHS England commissioned 15 academic health science networks to delivery safety improvement programmes in response to the Berwick report on the safety of patients in England. UCLPartners as part of its patient safety programme, aims to embed improving safety into routine daily work across their partnership, reducing avoidable harm and improving quality of care for patients. UCLPartners in consultation with its partners determined sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI) as main priority areas for patient safety especially as they are responsible for the greatest number of avoidable deaths in hospitalised patients in England (based on national data).

The approach to improving patient safety will be implemented using the Breakthrough Series (BTS) Collaborative Framework developed by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement. A BTS enables healthcare organisations to close the gap between the best care and usual practice bringing together multidisciplinary teams from across or within organisations to work over a limited period of time to improve processes, practices, or systems in health care.

The UCLPartners AKI and sepsis collaborative is being evaluated over a 15 month period (ending in March 2017) using the Researcher-in-Residence (RiR) model. UCLPartners have commissioned a formative evaluation focusing on developing an understanding of 'how' and 'why' some organisations engage enthusiastically with the process and others do not. The researcher will be embedded in the collaborative team(s) and will use participatory approaches to enable the collaborative leads and other team members to 'learn by doing' in a developmental manner.

Research Aims and Objectives

This study aims to evaluate the facilitators and barriers to engagement with the collaborative and the subsequent impact on programme outcomes, including the effectiveness of the improvement method.

The objectives of the evaluation are:

  • To examine the level of engagement in and understanding of the collaborative team members about the delivery of the different components of the work stream.
  • To explore the unintended consequences of engaging with the BTS collaborative model in the context of acute care to both service providers and users.
  • To establish the extent to which engagement with the BTS collaborative facilitates the programme in meeting its aims and objectives.
  • To compare and contrast the approaches to implementation and progress between the different trusts through their use of the BTS collaborative model.