Putting the Patient at the Heart of Patient Safety: Implementing a Patient Measure of Safety in Partnership with Hospital Volunteers

Yorkshire & HumberGeneric Health Relevance
Start Date: 1 Jul 2014


There is growing recognition that patient involvement is central to the quality of healthcare. Patients are in a unique position to give detailed insight into the quality and safety of the care they receive. The Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment (PRASE) Intervention is a patient centered process for systematically collecting patients to provide feedback on their care. Ward staff can then use this feedback in their local action planning and safety improvement activities. PRASE data has already been collected by researchers as part of an earlier research project. An improvement project led by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust aims to harness the as yet untapped potential of hospital volunteers, to promote wider implementation and sustainability of the PRASE Intervention. Researchers from the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group are leading the evaluation of this improvement project. 

  • Is it feasible and acceptable for hospital volunteers to collect patient feedback about the safety of their care, using the tools within the PRASE intervention?

  • Does PRASE intervention data collected by patient volunteers improve patient safety on hospital wards? 

Methods of investigation 

The evaluation is divided into two distinct phases of project implementation. During phase 1 (July 2014 – June 2015), a formative evaluation process will assess the implementation of the PRASE intervention measurement tools on pilot wards across three NHS Trusts. This part of the evaluation aims to explore whether hospital volunteers can be used to collect PRASE data. We will seek to understand the experience of both hospital volunteers and Health Professionals (HPs) in the collection of patient feedback, with this understanding used to refine the process of recruitment and training of hospital volunteers. In phase 2 (June 2015 – July 2016) the PRASE intervention will be rolled out to multiple wards across the three NHS Trusts, and we will undertake a summative evaluation of the implementation process. We will examine whether patient feedback collected by hospital volunteers leads to patient safety improvements, and how the intervention was conducted.


Alongside the implementation team, our planned outputs include: 

  1. a system for hospital volunteers to collect patient feedback from patients, as a basis for service improvement

  2. a training module to support hospital volunteers

  3. a mobile application and associated website database for collecting patient feedback at the bedside, or remotely after discharge

  4. journal articles

  5. conference papers 

Dr Claire Marsh