Patients, Visitors & The Public
Sign up to safety

Sign up to safety

What is Sign Up to Safety?

Sign up to Safety is a new national patient safety campaign that was announced in March by the Secretary of State for Health. It launched on 24 June 2014 with the mission to strengthen patient safety in the NHS and make it the safest healthcare system in the world with the ambition of halving avoidable harm in the NHS over the next three years - saving 6,000 lives as a result. This is supported by a campaign that aims to listen to patients, carers and staff, learn from what they say when things go wrong and take action to improve patient's safety helping to ensure patients get harm free care every time, everywhere.

What does it involve?

Organisations who Sign up to Safety commit to strengthen patient safety by:

  • Setting out the actions they will undertake in response to the five Sign up to Safety pledges (Put safety first, Continually learn, Honesty, Collaborate and Support) and agree to publish this on their website for staff, patients and the public to see.
  • Committing to turn their actions into a safety improvement plan (including a driver diagram) which will show how organisations intend to save lives and reduce harm for patients over the next 3 years

To sign up your organisation to the campaign there are 3 central commitments:

  1. Set out the actions your organisation will undertake in response to the five Sign up to Safety pledges [see below] and agree to publish this on your organisation's website for staff, patients and the public to see. We anticipate that you may like to share and compare your ideas before you publish - and this support will be available to you. We will facilitate peer review of your ideas and provide access to improvement coaching.
  2. Commit to turn your proposed actions into a safety improvement plan (including a driver diagram) which will show how your organisation intends to save lives and reduce harm for patients over the next 3 years. It may be useful to develop a reasonably common format so that the public is helped to understand these plans, using four headings of leadership & culture, measurement, building capability and projects. Again, support will be available, if you wish to access it, to assist in the description of these plans.
  3. Within your safety improvement plan you will be asked to identify the patient safety improvement areas you will focus on. You will be supported to identify 2 or more areas from a national menu of high priority issues (see below) and 2 or more from your own local priorities.

The National Patient Safety Topics are listed within the 'Safety Wall':      


How does Sign up to Safety align with other patient safety programmes and initiatives?

The following linked initiatives to improve patient safety will be aligned with the campaign so that the whole system supports involvement:

Patient Safety collaboratives - regionally based safety improvement networks led by AQUA

Patient Safety Fellows - to launch later this year and organisations who participate in Sign up to Safety are involved in the collaboratives will benefit from the expertise of the fellows and can also support their own staff to become fellows.

New National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) - work is underway to review and re-commission the NRLS to make incident reporting as easy, effective and rewarding as possible, so that learning and improvement continue to grow across the system.

Open and Honest - hospital patient safety data is now available on NHS Choices enabling trusts to be compared against each indicator. Organisations that have signed up to safety can use this public data to inform their plans and conversations with their local communities.

Additionally, Sign up to Safety enables Trusts to bring together a number of national campaigns under the same umbrella, it is expected to enhance clinical engagement with the NHSLA standards and support clinicians to change clinical practice. The Trust has also recently started working collaboratively with the Haelo to further understand the importance and power of measurement to support improvement and reduce harm. 

The Team

Sign up to Safety recommend a core team to support and co-ordinate the safety improvement plan. These staff members will be from the following areas:

  • Executive Lead for Patient Safety
  • Senior Medical Representation (Consultant level)
  • Senior Nursing Management
  • Risk & Patient Safety Team
  • Education & Training
  • Service Improvement
  • Data Intelligence

The Plan

It is expected that during September 2014 the initial patient safety topics will be confirmed and leads identified. A launch campaign strategy will be developed leading to an October 2014 launch date. This timeframe supports the analysis of our patient safety data via the Haelo project and avoids duplication of work.

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More Information

There is already a gathering of patient safety pledges and support for the campaign within social media on Twitter by following @SignuptoSafety In addition, the campaign website has further information and campaign resources and can be found at


NHS Choices: Patient Safety 

Twitter: @SignUpToSafety  #SignUpToSafety