Situation Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) Collaborative

CPD Credits21

Join SAFE and improve safety in your hospital

Situation Awareness for Everyone (SAFE) is a collaborative programme developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK.

It's an opportunity for paediatric frontline clinical teams to learn Quality Improvement and patient safety skills. Teams use this training to tackle a specific problem area of their choice. The benefits include improved communication, a safety based culture and better outcomes for children in hospital.

As well as Quality Improvement theory, the SAFE programme includes situation awareness methodology and the planning of safety huddles on the wards.

SAFE has been completed by 50 teams across the UK and we are delighted to bring this initiative to Ireland.

"The SAFE collaboration really changed my way of thinking. I was permissive of some practices in the past (what we permit we promote). This was subconscious, feeling a little uncomfortable about certain things but not knowing exactly why they were wrong or how I could change them. SAFE gave me the confidence to speak up and really change some practices. It made our entire unit focus on minimising risk and doing no harm. Focusing on situational awareness not only is good for our patients but in addition protects the staff."

Dr Paula Cahill

Consultant Paediatrician, Portiuncula University Hospital, Galway

What you will learn

When you join this collaborative you will work with expert faculty to achieve the following aims:

  • Reduce avoidable error and harm to acutely unwell children
  • Improve communication between all individuals involved in a child's care
  • Improve the working culture for healthcare staff providing care to children
  • Increase the involvement of parents, children and young people in their care

"The SAFE collaboration for us at Mayo University Hospital has placed safety at the centre of patient care. All team members now know that voicing their concerns and offering solutions that enhance safety is the expected behaviour. The huddle supports and reinforces this culture."

Dr Michael O'Neill

Consultant Paediatrician, Mayo University Hospital

Your team will be taught how to implement an innovative improvement bundle developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The bundle improves safety through interventions such as a Paediatric Early Warning System (PEWS), effective communication, and short 5 - 10 minute huddles.

SAFE takes the perspective of everyone involved in a child's healthcare at hospital - doctors, nurses, porters, families and children themselves - so that the clinical team can make the best decisions.

What is a QI Collaborative?

A quality improvement (QI) collaborative is a short-term learning system that brings together teams from different hospital sites to seek improvement in a specific subject area.

Frontline teams work together with improvement experts, using quality improvement methodology, to implement changes at the frontline of healthcare.

"The huddles allowed staff to be aware of the patients at risk on the ward and in the ER, which resulted in better communication and patient awareness on the ward. Since starting the Safety huddle on the ward there have been no unplanned transfers to PICU, as opposed to the year before when there were two unplanned transfer to PICU. A staff survey found that all staff found the huddle to be very beneficial and they felt that the ward was safer as a result. Everyone’s opinions counts, be they a nurse, doctor, parent, care giver or patient."

Dr Issam Shana’a

Consultant Paediatrician, South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel

See how SAFE was implemented in University Hospital Waterford

You don't need previous Quality Improvement experience

The SAFE collaborative caters for all levels of Quality Improvement knowledge. You will receive an introduction to quality improvement methodology and tools.

How SAFE training is delivered - What to expect

Your team must attend six centrally hosted learning sessions.

These sessions will involve lectures, case studies, interactive group activities and project based learning.

The time between these sessions will be designated as action periods, during which your team will use QI methodology to test improvement ideas in your hospital.

The time commitment

The SAFE collaborative starts with one full-day learning session, followed by five half-day learning sessions.

Each project team member will be expected to attend all of the learning sessions.

Who to include on your project team

Your project team should include three to four members, representing senior clinical decision makers and key care providers during the paediatric inpatient journey.

Each member of the team must be in a position to exert organisational change within their institution. At least one paediatric consultant, one senior nurse and an NCHD should participate.

Project teams should expect to meet at least once per week for the duration of the collaborative.

Got questions about SAFE?

If you would like to speak to somone about SAFE before applying please contact Rachel MacDonell, QI Programme Manager at

The cost of participation per team is €3,600 (the cost is not per person). In our experience, individual hospitals have been very supportive and have provided funding to support this patient safety initiative. We are happy to arrange for invoicing.

If you would like to be invoiced for the collaborative please contact

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