The purpose of this Practical guide is to support NHS organisations to apply a framework for measuring and monitoring safety (see Figure 1 on page 5). This framework was developed on behalf of the Health Foundation by Professor Charles Vincent, Ms Susan Burnett and Dr Jane Carthey. The research team drew on learning from the literature as well as a survey of current practice as they developed the framework.

This guide introduces the framework and explains how it can help those working in the NHS answer the question ‘How safe is our care?’ and bring about constructive change. The guide describes some broad principles to bear in mind when using the framework and provides some prompts for each of the framework’s dimensions to help people focus on some of the main challenges to understanding safety.

The guide also provides a brief summary of the research underpinning the framework and details of further resources available to find out more.

* For full details, see the 2013 Health Foundation spotlight report, The measurement and monitoring of safety: