Patient Safety Collaboratives and the Academic Health Science Networks which host them, are supporting their local health and care systems during the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in hospitals, care homes and the community.

Patient Safety Collaboratives, as part of the NHS National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NatPatSIPs), will focus on the following priorities over the next six months:

  • Identifying and managing people at risk of deterioration and sepsis
  • Implementing a tracheostomy care programme to help manage patients with a tracheostomy
  • Support for patients being discharged from hospital with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Support for maternity and neonatal units

For more information, please email KSS PSC


Spotting serious illness and sepsis

Some people are more at risk than others of becoming unwell very quickly and developing a serious illness such as sepsis. This is known as ‘deterioration’ and it is important that anyone who cares for individuals who are at risk of deterioration knows how to spot the signs, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

If you work in a residential care home, or are a professional or family carer supporting someone in their own home, there are a number of tools available to help you recognise physical deterioration and take the appropriate actions.


The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is used by GPs, all ambulance services and most acute hospital trusts. NEWS is associated with a reduction in mortality in those patients admitted with a possible diagnosis of sepsis without increasing the overall number of admissions, according to a paper just published by the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).

You can read more about how NEWS can be applied in primary care here.


Helping break unwelcome news

The AHSN Network has worked alongside Health Education England to publish a set of materials and films which aim to support staff through difficult conversations arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. You can download the tools here.


Wound care self-care guidance

The AHSN Network is supporting NHS England to develop a national Wound Care Strategy and has developed this guidance in response to the COVID-19 situation.


COVID-19 official resources

This document is a summary of some of the official information sources and website links for COVID-19. The websites are being frequently updated, so it’s worth checking them regularly. All the material is publicly available and intended to be shared widely.


NHS email accounts for care providers

NHSmail has made it easier for care homes and other social care providers to sign up for NHSmail. This provides them with a secure email account to safely exchange patient or sensitive information with other health and social care professionals. NHSmail is available to all domiciliary, residential or nursing care providers regardless of whether they support local authority, NHS or self-funded individuals. They may have one shared mailbox account and up to ten user accounts per site. More details are here.


Microsoft Teams to support remote working across NHS

NHS organisations should by now have been granted free access to the Microsoft Teams communication tool to support remote working in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The tool lets you use instant messaging and audio and video calling  to support the delivery of frontline services, even while working remotely. Get more guidance here on using NHS teams, and the steps local organisations should take.