Patient Safety Specialists

The requirement for NHS organisations in England to identify one or more person as their designated Patient Safety Specialist(s) is a key part of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy

We have now written to all NHS trusts, foundation trusts and CCGs asking them to begin the process of identifying their Patient Safety Specialists, who will lead on patient safety across their organisation.

These specialists will work full time as patient safety experts, providing dynamic, senior leadership, visibility and support. In addition, they will support the development of a patient safety culture, safety systems and improvement activity.

Specialists will also work in networks with Patient Safety Specialists from other organisations to share good practice and learn from each other, making them fundamental to patient safety across the NHS in England.

Ultimately each Patient Safety Specialist will be fully trained in the national patient safety syllabus.

Supporting organisations to identify Patient Safety Specialist(s)

We have published a ‘Identifying Patient Safety Specialists’ document to support NHS organisations to identify individuals with the right skills and experience to take on the role as a Patient Safety Specialist. The document outlines the purpose of Patient Safety Specialists, the key requirements of the role, and how we expect them to work in their own organisation, as well as with local, regional and national partners.

Trusts and CCGs have been sent details of how to register their specialists with the NHS England and NHS Improvement national patient safety team by a deadline of 30 November 2020. Details of how to register Patient Safety Specialists can also be requested by emailing

We consulted on a draft version of the Identifying Patient Safety Specialists document in early 2020.

Related content