Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Monitoring patient safety in primary care: an exploratory study using in-depth semistructured interviews
  1. Rajvinder Samra,
  2. Alex Bottle,
  3. Paul Aylin
  1. Dr Foster Unit at Imperial, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rajvinder Samra; r.samra{at}


Objectives To explore how information and data are used to monitor patient safety and quality of primary care by professionals working in, or supporting, primary healthcare.

Design Qualitative study of semistructured interviews with a directed content analysis of transcripts.

Setting North-West London, UK.

Participants 21 individuals from various levels of the primary healthcare system were recruited, including general practitioners, practice nurses, practice managers, members of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing bodies, and senior members of regional patient safety teams.

Results Participants described being overwhelmed with complicated data which lacked any meaningful analyses about safety and quality. There was also a lack of clarity over which patient safety events are expected to be reported or monitored. Participants also reported uncertainty on whose responsibility it was to act on patient safety information or concerns. At the practice level, there was a range of disincentives for responding to and acting on safety issues and concerns, with few reported benefits. Participants made recommendations to improve future monitoring.

Conclusions There is a need for clearer information in the form of specific guidelines, policies and procedures with regard to who monitors patient safety in primary care, what is monitored and how it should be monitored.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.