Aims and Principles

Overarching Aims

  1. To ensure there is leadership and accountability for safety throughout the system – to facilitate not to deliver
  2. To create the conditions that help prevent patient safety incidents from occurring in the first place, engendering a sense of pride and a culture where people feel able to speak out
  3. To foster a safety culture of transparency, reliability, resilience, continual learning and improvement, based on sound safety science
  4. To develop genuine partnerships between those who give care and those who receive care to improve their safety
  5. To deliver a system-wide, locally owned and led, programme that delivers year on year improvements in safety
  6. To enable people who work across the healthcare system in the North East and North Cumbria to have the opportunity to:
    • work together in a collaborative way to address and prevent harm
    • engage with all levels of the organisations within which they work
    • connect with widespread support outside their organisations
    • bring together patients and carers, national and international safety expertise with practical experience, in partnership with NHS England, NHS Improving Quality, and other national, international and local bodies interested in improving safety
  7. To align with and complement the ambitions of the ‘Sign up to Safety’ campaign


  1. Locally owned and structured quality improvement initiatives leading towards transformational change.
  2. To do a few things really well rather than trying to do it all and not succeeding.
  3. Building system-wide capability for both staff and patients in quality and safety improvement.
  4. Local systematic spread of quality improvement outcomes across health and social care.
  5. To work in partnership with other AHSNs, partner organisations and stakeholders to avoid re-invention and to ensure the success and optimal spread of locally developed solutions & interventions.
  6. To co-produce solutions with staff and patients.
  7. To be innovative, whilst evidence-based.
  8. To build upon existing work where possible and stimulate new initiatives to align with the national framework and local priorities in safety.
  9. To use tried and tested improvement tools and methods.
  10. To ensure that improvements are measurable and sustainable, and to support people to do this effectively.
  11. To be Inclusive of all health sectors (NHS and independent) and social care, with parity of mental, physical and physiological health and encourage improvement across care boundaries, bridging the gap between primary, secondary and social care.
  12. To actively contribute to national sharing and learning.
  13. To evaluate success by setting in place clear objectives at the start and the means to measure achievement.

Capacity and capability

The AHSN-North East and North Cumbria Patient Safety Collaborative commissioned a piece of work to explore the current capacity and capability for quality improvement in the region to help inform its local priorities. The Baseline Survey of Patient Safety Capability and Capacity report is now available.


The AHSN-North East and North Cumbria Patient Safety Collaborative is also working with the North East Quality Observatory system (NEQOS) to establish some baseline measures against which it can measure its impact and to help inform the direction of the programme. NEQOS run the Measurement programme on behalf of the AHSN NENC

It must be stressed that any measures will not be used to performance manage individual organisations, merely to inform the programme as a whole.