Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF)

What is it?

Staff working The Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) sets out the NHS’s approach to developing and maintaining effective systems and processes for responding to patient safety incidents for the purpose of learning and improving patient safety.

It lays out how NHS Trusts should respond to patient safety incidents and how and when a patient safety investigation should be conducted. The aim is to develop a more open and transparent patient safety culture, with a greater focus on a system wide approach.

PSIRF replaces the Serious Incident Framework, but in a nutshell:

  • Patient safety is everyone’s responsibility and doesn’t look to apportion blame when things don’t go as planned
  • When things do go wrong it’s important we respond proportionately, to learn from the incident to make sure it doesn’t happen again
  • And for anyone who provides care, PSIRF ensures they feel supported at work and they feel safe to report errors


PSIRF represents a significant shift in the way the NHS responds to patient safety incidents. It is a key part of the NHS patient safety strategy and integrates four key aims:

  1. Compassionate engagement and involvement of those affected by patient safety incidents
  2. Application of a range of system-based approached to learning from patient safety incidents
  3. Considered and proportionate responses to patient safety incidents
  4. Supportive oversight focussed on strengthening response system functioning and improvement


What we are doing at UHP

Published in August 2022, PSIRF outlines how providers should respond to patient safety incidents for the purposes of learning and improving from each incident. We have been adopting PSIRF since the launch in 2022, but we recently launched our PSIRF Policy and our PSIRF Plan for 2024. These mean:


What PSIRF helps to enable

staff at work We have been changing the way we approach safety at the trust since 2022 in line with the concepts of PSIRF, some of which you may be familiar with already:

  • Building brilliance reviews
  • Go Sees
  • Appreciative Inquiry reviews
  • Radiology acknowledgement processes
  • Mortality reviews
  • Involvement of patients in some of our key committees
  • Risk Summits

Thanks to our new approaches, we are seeing increased staff and patient involvement through our Clinical Governance processes which is leading to improved:

  • Pressure ulcer rates per 1000 bed days
  • Falls rate per 1000 bed days
  • Risk adjusted mortality rates
  • Number of complaints received by the organisation
  • Timely closure of national safety alerts
  • Risk escalation and management
  • Harm rate per 1000 bed days


When can I access more information?

PSIRF is not just a new framework for recording incidents, it is a completely new way of looking at patient safety and empowers staff to speak up when things go wrong.

The Patient Safety Incident Response Policy can be found here.

Read our Patient Safety Incident Response Plan.

For more details about PSIRF from NHS England, please click on this link.

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