Safety culture is a crucial aspect of any organisation, especially in industries like healthcare, aviation, transport, and energy production. It encompasses the way patient safety is perceived and implemented within an organisation, along with the structures and processes in place to support it.

Safety climate, on the other hand, focuses on the attitudes of staff members regarding patient safety within the organisation.

Measuring safety culture and climate is essential as it has been found to have a significant impact on patient safety outcomes. By monitoring these measures over time, organisations can track changes and improvements in their safety culture.

How to improve patient safety culture

Health Innovation Network Patient Safety Collaboratives have developed a practical guide to improving patient safety culture in partnership with NHS England. This guide supports teams to understand their culture and how to approach improving it, exploring aspects of teamwork, communication, just culture, psychological safety, promoting diversity and inclusive behaviours, and civility. It can support teams to explore different approaches to help them to create windows into their daily work to help them to understand their local safety culture.

See the ‘Improving patient safety culture – A practical guide’ here.

The THIS institute have a series of guides on the Elements of Improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare published through Cambridge University Press. Recommended guides for this topic are Workplace Conditions, by Jill Maben, Jane Ball, Amy C. Edmondson (Published online: 2023) and Making Culture Change Happen, by Russell Mannion (Published online: 2022).