Background: It is increasingly recognised that patients can play a role in reporting safety incidents. Studies have tended to focus on patients within hospital settings, and on the reporting of patient safety incidents as defined within a medical model of safety. This study aims to determine the feasibility of collecting and using patient experiences of safety as a proactive approach to identifying latent conditions of safety as patients undergo organisational care transfers.
Methods and analysis: The study comprises three components: (1) patients' experiences of safety relating to a care transfer, (2) patients' receptiveness to reporting experiences of safety, (3) quality improvement using patient experiences of safety. (1) A safety survey and evaluation form will be distributed to patients discharged from 15 wards across four clinical areas (cardiac, care of older people, orthopaedics and stroke) over 1 year. Healthcare professionals involved in the care transfer will be provided with a regular summary of patient feedback. (2) Patients (n=36) who return an evaluation form will be sampled representatively based on the four clinical areas and interviewed about their experiences of healthcare and safety and completing the survey. (3) Healthcare professionals (n=75) will be invited to participate in semistructured interviews and focus groups to discuss their experiences with and perceptions of receiving and using patient feedback. Data analysis will explore the relationship between patient experiences of safety and other indicators and measures of quality and safety. Interview and focus group data will be thematically analysed and triangulated with all other data sources using a convergence coding matrix.
Ethics and dissemination: The study has been granted National Health Service (NHS) Research Ethics Committee approval. Patient experiences of safety will be disseminated to healthcare teams for the purpose of organisational development and quality improvement. Results will be disseminated to study participants as well as through peer-reviewed outputs.