Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Identifying primary care patient safety research priorities in the UK: a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership
  1. Rebecca Lauren Morris1,
  2. Susan Jill Stocks1,
  3. Rahul Alam1,
  4. Sian Taylor1,
  5. Carly Rolfe1,
  6. Steven William Glover2,
  7. Joanne Whitcombe2,
  8. Stephen M Campbell1
  1. 1 NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Trust Library Service, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca Lauren Morris; rebecca.morris{at}


Objectives To identify the top 10 unanswered research questions for primary care patient safety research.

Design A modified nominal group technique.

Setting UK.

Participants Anyone with experience of primary care including: patients, carers and healthcare professionals. 341 patients and 86 healthcare professionals submitted questions.

Main outcomes A top 10, and top 30, future research questions for primary care patient safety.

Results 443 research questions were submitted by 341 patients and 86 healthcare professionals, through a national survey. After checking for relevance and rephrasing, a total of 173 questions were collated into themes. The themes were largely focused on communication, team and system working, interfaces across primary and secondary care, medication, self-management support and technology. The questions were then prioritised through a national survey, the top 30 questions were taken forward to the final prioritisation workshop. The top 10 research questions focused on the most vulnerable in society, holistic whole-person care, safer communication and coordination between care providers, work intensity, continuity of care, suicide risk, complex care at home and confidentiality.

Conclusions This study was the first national prioritisation exercise to identify patient and healthcare professional priorities for primary care patient safety research. The research priorities identified a range of important gaps in the existing evidence to inform everyday practice to address primary care patient safety.

  • James Lind Alliance
  • patient safety
  • primary care
  • pharmacy
  • general practice

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from


  • Contributors SMC and ST designed the study and convened the steering group. RLM led the study, carried out data collection, analysis and interpretation of data. CR was responsible for promoting the surveys and coordinating members of the steering group. RA and SJS were involved in the data collection and interpretation. SWG and JW led the literature searching. RLM drafted the initial manuscript and all authors were involved in revising the manuscript and gave final approval of the version to be published. RLM is the guarantor. All authors, external and internal, had full access to all of the data (including statistical reports and tables) in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

  • Funding The National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC) funded this study.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee approved the study (REC reference: 16141).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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.