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75% of patient safety research is focused on hospitals, yet 85% of patient contact with the NHS happens outside hospitals - and little is known about patient safety in these settings.

We began to address some key areas between 2012 and 2017 by building evidence around patient safety, particularly for primary care and its links to - and effect on - hospitals. We did this by focusing on informatics, medication safety, patients with multimorbidity and patient safety in general practice.

With five years of further funding from 2017 to 2022, we are building on this world-first patient safety facility by focusing on primary care and safer transitions of care between care settings.

We have increased our collaboration and involvement with Salford across Greater Manchester's Health and Social Care Partnership, which serves three million people. Partnerships with the University of Nottingham/East Midlands and the Connected Health Cities programme across the north of England ensure our research is relevant across a wide range of healthcare settings, so it can be implemented rapidly throughout the UK.

Ageing populations and the effective management of disease is increasing the number of people living with co-morbidities (one or more conditions existing alongside a primary condition) or other complex needs. Their health is being increasingly managed by GPs and draws upon community health and care services. Failure to recognise health risks arising from their needs or medical history places these patients at increased risk. There is more chance of inappropriate therapies being used, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of symptoms, or drug interactions from taking multiple medications.

The NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC is working with patients and healthcare providers to increase the safety of patients in their care; this helps to keep patients out of hospital and improves their safety when discharged or moving between care settings. As well as enhancing patient safety, this is also more cost-effective for the NHS. 

Read more about our programme of work in NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC 2017-2022 The Next Five Years.