Unsafe care is among the leading causes of death worldwide. It’s estimated that one in ten patients is harmed while receiving hospital care in high-income countries and the challenge is even greater in the developing world. Alongside greater access, safe care is an essential goal for health systems worldwide, which is why we’re working to improve the safety and quality of care and reduce the burden of harm.

Our NIHR North West London Patient Safety Research Collaboration (PSRC) is at the core of this work. Since it was established the Centre has been working towards one clear goal: the delivery of safer healthcare. The Centre collaborates across IGHI, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and with other national and global partners to deliver sustainable, high-impact research in patient safety. 

Find out how this work is advancing the scientific understanding of patient safety, empowering patients and staff and developing innovative interventions to address patient safety challenges.

Highlights from our patient safety work

Senior patient talking with male doctor

Supporting GPs’ decisions for cancer referrals

A number of tools have been developed to help doctors work out the risk that a person has undiagnosed cancer. These cancer risk tools consider a number of different factors that could influence a person’s risk of cancer, such as their age and lifestyle habits, and also any telltale symptoms they may have. Taken together, these generate a score that dictates the likelihood that a person could have cancer.

We’re looking at how these scores can influence GPs’ clinical judgment. We’re also exploring how best to present these scores to GPs to support their decisions about urgent referrals for suspected cancer.

Find out more