Safety Principles in Mental Health were developed in 2016 for Adult in-patient units. They have now been updated and can be applied to new areas of mental health care such as CAMHS, Perinatal Mental Health, Learning and Intellectual Disabilities, and Older People’s Services.

The Safety Principles are a group of processes, tools or techniques that if used reliably provide opportunities to reduce harm for patients.

There are four Safety Principles:

As the Safety Principles developed, a number of enablers have evolved. It is useful to consider the application of these in the context of delivering (the successful implementation, spread and sustainability of) the Safety Principles.


  • Communications
  • Data & Measurement
  • Education & Training
  • Human Factors
  • Human Rights Based Approach
  • Interagency Collaborative Working
  • Legislative framework
  • Service user, carer, family and staff engagement
  • Trauma Informed Care Approach