Domain 5: Treating and caring for people in a safe environment & protecting them from avoidable harm

NHS Commissioning Assembly logoThe content on this page has been co-designed and developed by NHS England’s Clinical leaders and local commissioners, who are members of the Quality Working Group and tasked with leading the development of the Quality agenda for the NHS Commissioning Assembly

Key issue

Although research suggests around 90% of patients admitted to hospital will not experience an adverse incident, around 10% of patients will experience an adverse event, half of which are considered avoidable. Older patients are disproportionately affected by patient safety incidents causing severe harm or death. Over a million patient safety incidents are reported to the National Reporting and Learning System each year, over 90% of which involved low or no harm. However, we know this is an underestimate of the true burden of harm

Areas of Action

We have identified a set of key areas for action.  These are actions which will need to be taken forward in partnership between NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups across the whole commissioning system, and other partners.

  • Increase our understanding of the problem
  • Create the conditions for patient safety
  • Build capacity for safe care
  • Create a whole system response
  • Address our key patient safety concerns

Local case studies

Please click on the links below to access examples of good practice that area teams and local CCGs have supplied. Note: we will be continually updating and building this list of case studies with examples of good practice supplied by local CCGs.

  1. Walsall: Quality dashboard
  2. Suffolk: Learning from complaints
  3. NHS England: Quality Dashboards

Key resources to support local plans

  • NHS Indicator portal – access CCG outcome indicators data here, for each domain
  • CCG outcomes tool and explorer – The CCG outcomes tool allows users to view maps, charts and tables of individual outcome indicators across CCGs, and to view a spine chart of all the outcomes for one or more CCGs. The CCG outcomes explorer allows the user to explore the relationships between two outcomes or between demographic information and outcome
  • Our Work: Patient Safety – Several patient safety resources that support the work of local commissioners are available here

Further resources are currently in development and will be coming on-line here from mid-October.