Essentials of Safe Care
Creating the conditions for safe care for every person, within every setting, every time
The Essentials of Safe Care is a practical package of evidence-based guidance and support that enables Scotland’s health and social care system to deliver safe care. It forms the building blocks for each SPSP programme of work.
The essential drivers of safe care
Working in partnership with health and social care teams and a number of representative bodies across Scotland, the following essentials were identified as being central to supporting the safe delivery of care in any setting.
Essentials of Safe Care driver diagram
This interactive driver diagram outlines the key elements within each essential that can support achieving the overall aim of delivering safe care for every person, within every setting, every time.
Each essential provides a range of information and resources based on:
- the best available evidence
- existing standards and guidelines, and
- examples of current practice for services to consider as part of their own improvements.
Please note that once you have clicked to enter the interactive driver diagram, you will need to click again to select a driver.
Essentials of Safe Care Learning System
The Essentials of Safe Care Learning System will be a key element of our work and underpins all our SPSP Programmes of Work. It aims to accelerate sharing of learning and improvement work through a range of engagement and learning opportunities. These will include:
- the development of an Essentials of Safe Care network
- a series of webinars
- a website where case studies and resources will be available
- a measurement framework, and
- bespoke improvement support.
These resources have been developed to support you to implement the Essentials of Safe Care.
- Glossary - This glossary contains helpful explanations of some of the improvement tools we have used.
- Evaluation of Testing: Full Report - This report describes how these resources were tested and evaluated, with thanks to our colleagues from health and social care for their participation.
- Readiness and Prioritisation Tool - This tool helps to understand strengths and gaps in your organisation and teams, and prioritise areas for improvement.
- Measurement Framework - This document contains practical guidance to support you to measure the impact of implementing the Essentials of Safe Care.
- Measurement Toolkit – Run charts are an excellent way to present your data, and this toolkit will enable you to generate them using your local data.
- What the Essentials of Safe Care are and why they were developed
The Essentials of Safe Care is a practical package of evidence-based guidance and support that enables Scotland’s health and social care system to deliver safe care for every person, within every setting, every time.
The concept was developed following feedback from services across the whole system in relation to what worked during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This helped to identify what would support the system not only during the current context, but also beyond COVID-19.
The Essentials of Safe Care package was developed in partnership with health and social care teams across Scotland. The package describes the essential elements of Safe Care and signposts to a range of resources.
- complement and support current guidance and standards
- combine evidence and existing knowledge
- align to national programmes of work such as SPSP, Excellence in Care and the Care Home Huddle Tool, and
- provide examples of activities that when implemented, bring about improvement.
- What the Essentials of Safe Care package includes and how to use it
The package includes an interactive driver diagram, guidance to support measuring changes and improvement and access to a learning system to share and hear from others working on similar improvements. In Quality Improvement, this is often described as a change package.
A change package consists of a number of high-level outcomes supported by activities that when implemented, bring about improvement. It is a resource to bring together what is known about best practices and processes based on evidence from literature, research, and the experiences of others. For more information visit NHS Education for Scotland's Quality Improvement Zone
The resources within the package are organised under the four key essentials identified by health and social care teams:
- Person centred systems and behaviours are embedded and support safety for everyone
- Safe communications within and between teams
- Leadership to promote a culture of safety at all levels
- Safe consistent clinical and care processes across health and social care settings.
Under each of these essentials you will find quick read guides, which outline the description, background, evidence and examples of good practice, with links to ideas and tools you may find useful.