Start and end dates

August 2012 to July 2017

Project summary


The Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as part of the Imperial NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC). The PSTRC is one of two in the country and is a five-year partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, building on the work of  the Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality (CPSSQ), which was NIHR funded between 2007 and 2012. The major research programme uses multidisciplinary expertise in scientific advances to drive improvements to patient safety. A full time member of staff dedicated to work on the PSTRC’s research theme of “Effective use of information” is based within the Dr Foster Unit.

Clinicians, managers, patients and the public need high quality, relevant and timely information to help them make decisions about patient care. Our research aims to increase the effective use of data to improve the safety and quality of care. There are three research streams within this theme: Development of safety indicators for primary and integrated care; Targeting improvements in care pathways; Use of information by clinical teams.


  • Find out what information clinicians want and need to deliver quality and safety improvement
  • Identify which methods for delivering performance feedback lead to improvement
  • Develop statistical methods for comparing different units' performance across the patient pathway


Tsang C, Palmer W, Bottle A, Majeed A, Aylin Pet al., 2012, A Review of Patient Safety Measures Based on Routinely Collected Hospital Data, American Journal of Medical Quality, Vol: 27, Pages: 154-169 SageJournals

Samra R, Bottle A, Aylin P, 2015, Monitoring patient safety in primary care: an exploratory study using in-depth semistructured interviews, BMJ OPEN, Vol: 5 BMJ Open