Nurse with a patient in hospital

After many years of denial and debate, healthcare recognises that it can pose considerable risks as well as bring benefits to its patients. Improving patient safety is now an international movement, but many challenges remain regarding not just improving systems but the first vital step on the way to improvement: measurement of the problem. Our work in this area focuses on developing indicators of safety using large databases for both hospitals and GPs, with the recognition that a change in one behaviour, such as antibiotic prescribing, could have negative consequences as well as benefits.