A male doctor talking to a female patient

Led by Mr Erik Mayer, this theme is working to empower and engage patients in the safety of healthcare.

We know the value of empowering patients in healthcare. That’s why we’re using a range of cutting-edge approaches to promote greater patient and carer involvement in healthcare and shape future patient safety practice. Our research is generating high-quality evidence to facilitate the implementation and diffusion of practical and sustainable safety initiatives.

Our work

From digital technologies to behavioural insights, we’re using a range of innovative techniques to build patient-centred approaches to care. 

Find out more about our work that’s supporting more active and safe involvement of patients in their own care.

Listen, learn and improve

Patients’ feedback on their experience of care presents a huge opportunity to make improvements in the quality of healthcare. But this valuable resource hasn’t been used to its full potential because the data  free text narratives  comes in a difficult to analyse format. We’ve developed an innovative solution to this widespread issue, which is enabling patients’ comments to be efficiently translated into measures designed to improve care quality.

Our researchers developed a computer algorithm that rapidly processes and analyses this information, so that feedback can be promptly acted upon and resulting changes implemented into practice. This is the first of its kind in the English NHS, and it’s now being trialled in new care settings.

This work has revitalised the benefits of hearing from patients in their own words, and also reassures patients that their feedback is being used to ensure better experiences for themselves and others.

Hear Mr Erik Mayer talk about his award-winning algorithm in this Imperial podcast

Boosting activity in stroke survivors

People who have survived a stroke commonly experience difficulty using their arms, affecting as many as 80% of patients. This can cause them to lose their independence which not only impacts their lives and those of their families, but also health systems. We’ve been working with the Institute of Global Health Innovation’s Helix Centre, NHS Trusts and stroke charities to address this issue. Our solution is a low-cost digital platform for stroke survivors that empowers and motivates them in their own recovery at home.

OnTrack Rehab was developed with users and aims to support rehabilitation outside of the hospital environment, complementing the efforts of professionals on the frontline. By enabling users to track and share their progress through a mobile app, OnTrack helps stroke survivors to learn from their activities and set goals for recovery. With promising early results from a pilot study, we’ve now launched a feasibility trial to evaluate OnTrack in a larger group of stroke survivors. Our ultimate goal is to integrate OnTrack with existing NHS stroke services, helping more people along the path to recovery.

Find out more about how we're partnering with patients from Mr Erik Mayer:

Partnering with patients for safer care

Research leader Erik Mayer talks about his group's work that's empowering and engaging patients in the safety of healthcare.