Organisations should no longer collect ‘classic’ or ‘next generation (Medication, Mental Health, Maternity and C&YPS)’ Safety Thermometer data or submit it to the Safety Thermometer portal. Information on replacement metrics drawn from routinely collected data can be found on the Patient Safety Measurement Unit webpage.

The Safety Thermometer, launched in 2010, was one of the largest and longest-lasting data collection exercises in NHS history. It had a powerful impact in its early years. But more recent evaluations, research and feedback have shown that the data was incomplete, and it was no longer able to support improvement in the intended way. Because of this, new data sources were explored that could take the burden of data collection away from clinical staff and support new improvement initiatives. Ending the Safety Thermometer were publicly consulted on in 2019/20 as part of proposed changes to the NHS Standard Contract. The response supported ending the national collection of Safety Thermometer data from April 2020, and using alternative data sources to continue improving pressure ulcer prevention, falls prevention, VTE prevention and prevention of healthcare-associated infection.

All data collection for the ‘classic’ Safety Thermometer and the ‘next generation’ Safety Thermometers will therefore stop after March 2020. Plans for nationally-produced replacement data to support improvement drawn from routinely collected sources will be provided or signposted on the NHS England and NHS Improvement Patient Safety Measurement Unit webpage as soon as possible.

This video describes the work that was done on a female ward at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust to improve the existing whiteboard and to make make the use of it efficient in reducing the four harms.

"When I first heard I had to do a quality improvement project based on harm free care, my first thought was more work, no time, and no extra staff. Haven’t I got enough to do, like running my ward? But when I actually sat down and thought about what the project could be, improving the communication board is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, for the benefit of patients, staff and the ward team in general. The result is something that is functional, fit for purpose and both used and updated by all members of the MDT. I suppose my journey was something of sceptic to supporter, and now the Trust want to rollout the board to other wards and departments which is fantastic for patient safety."

Lynn Atherton, Ward Manager