Collaborating with patients to improve patient safety in primary care
Project Lead: Dr Susan Hrisos, Professor Richard Thomson
Project Team: Anu Vaittinen, Dave Green
The previous ThinkSAFE project (funded by NIHR developed an intervention to support patients working with secondary care health professionals to improve safety and reduce the risk of harm to patients. This was achieved by working with frontline healthcare staff, patients and families to develop ‘ThinkSAFE’: 1. A patient safety video/DVD “A guide to patient safety for patients and their families’ 2. A patient-held ‘Healthcare Logbook’ that contains tools to help patients and staff share information at key time points during the in-patient stay 3. ‘Talk Time’ – a brief but protected time for patients and families to discuss their care, queries and concerns with a member of staff, and 4. A brief evidence & theory-based educational session for staff, supported by the patient safety video.  
An Implementation Package was subsequently developed, funded by the NENC AHSN, and in collaboration with five regional NHS Foundation Trusts.  The Implementation Package and all ThinkSAFE resources are freely available on a dedicated website:  
This SPCR ThinkSAFE project will build on these previous phases of development to explore the application of ThinkSAFE to the primary care setting.  The aims of the current project are:
To understand what patients and families can do to help reduce their risk of harm in the primary care setting.
To understand patient willingness and capability of taking an active role in improving their own safety.
To understand the clinical staff perspective on involving patients in improving their own safety in a primary care setting.
To assess the appropriateness of ThinkSAFE in supporting patients and staff to work together to improve patient safety in primary care.
To inform adaptations and/or extensions to the ThinkSAFE approach for use in the primary care setting
The original ThinkSAFE model incorporated behaviour change techniques.  The main aim of this project is to change behaviours of patients and staff to improve patient safety.
Hrisos S, Thomson R. Direct engagement: Developing and piloting the ‘ThinkSAFE’ Intervention.Chapter 9. In Wright J LR, O’Hara J, Ermitage G, Sheard L1, Marsh C, et al, Improving patient safetythrough the involvement of patients: NIHR applied programme. Programme Grants Appl Res. 2016. RP-PG-0108-10049. In Press.
Hrisos S, Thomson RG. Seeing it from both sides: Do approaches to involving patients in improving their safety risk damaging the trust between patients and healthcare professionals? An interview study   
Thomson R, Hrisos S, Green D. Evaluating ThinkSAFE: a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to involving patients in improving their own patient safety [Poster presentation]. 
Hrisos S, Vaittinen A, Thomson R. Collaborating with patients to improve patient safety in primary care.  School for Primary Care Research NIHR Ten Year Anniversary, 22 November 2016, Wellcome Trust, London.