Patient safety

The principles of the quality improvement – improving quality, measuring quality and setting standards for quality – are embedded in all of the RCP’s work. The key to improving quality is ensuring there are high standards of safety for all patients receiving medical treatment across the NHS.

What we are doing

The RCP produces a broad selection of resources for clinicians, commissioners, managers and trusts to help improve patient safety and drive up quality across the NHS. These include:

  • The RCP's National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is available to download, as is it's Ward rounds in medicine: principles for best practice (jointly produced with the Royal College of Nursing).
  • The RCP's Patient Safety Committee, established in 2011 to improve the safety of patients receiving medical care funded by the NHS. It meets three times a year and comprises representatives from the RCP as well as from specialist societies and other royal colleges.
  • National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death (NCEPOD) helps to improve standards of medical and surgical care for the benefit of the public by reviewing the management of patients, by undertaking confidential surveys and research. They regularly publish reports to help improve standards in patient care.
  • Patient safety seminars, which allow individuals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds to hear expert speakers deliver presentations on a number of specialised topics.

Clinical auditsservice accreditationtoolkitsclinical guidelines, and HIU apps guidance is also available. 

What we have produced

The patient safety movement has been deeply affected by the stories patients have shared that have identified numerous opportunities for improvements in safety.

In this article from the RCP's Commentary magazine, Dr Mohsin Choudry and Dr Kevin Stewart assess the legal and professional duty of clinicians and how to improve patient safety.

Multiple factors have been identified to explain the low rates of incident reporting among doctors. These include fear of blame, lack of confidence in change, negative experiences of previous investigations and psychological effects, ie the ‘second victim experience’.

The RCP has always put patient safety as an integral part of professionalism. There is now an ambition for this to be explicit.

The RCP's response to the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry ('Francis Inquiry').

The RCP has adopted a slightly modified form of the successful all-Wales e-prescribing chart, attached below, and we urge you to consider introducing it into your trust as part of the journey to e-prescribing.