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Emergency department collaborative

The Emergency Department (ED) Collaborative aims to improve safety within EDs by providing opportunities for networking and shared learning for ED multidisciplinary teams across the Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley region. The ED Collaborative adopts a regional approach to sharing problems and successes and is motivated by a collective desire to improve safety within EDs for patients, the public and staff. The ED Collaborative aims to reduce clinical variation by spreading excellent practice and learning from adverse events or near miss incidents. Read more in the Overview below.

The Emergency Department (ED) Collaborative was established in September 2017 supported by the Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) across the Oxford AHSN (Now Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley) region.

Maintaining a safe environment for patients within the emergency department is challenging in the face of increasing demand, an ageing population with increasingly complex needs and a shortage of inpatient beds. An increased reliance on locums and non-specialist staff means that it is crucial that every effort is made to reduce variation in the standard of care offered to patients.

The strength of the ED collaborative is in its ability to give clinicians, volunteers and specialist teams a safe space to come together to learn from each other and to spread best practice across the region. The collaborative approach builds relationships and leads to a greater willingness to share and learn from each other.

The shared learning model adopted by the ED collaborative is used successfully by the PSC in other patient safety programmes to deliver improvements and disseminate learning.

‘The ED collaboratives are doing two things; firstly they are bringing people together to share best practice and great ideas, and secondly, in some ways more importantly, it is bringing people to a place of mutual support and strengthening, realising that the modern emergency department is a place of real challenge and a place where support is needed in spades.’ (Lay Partner Oxford AHSN).


Key stakeholders from the five NHS trusts in the Thames Valley region with EDs – Buckinghamshire Healthcare, Royal Berkshire, Milton Keynes University Hospital, Frimley Health and Oxford University Hospitals – meet bi-annually to share best practice and encourage spread and adoption within the region. Each trust takes turns to host the collaborative which brings together a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals to explore the principles of maintaining patient safety in an ED environment and consider how emergency departments can work together throughout the region.

Collaborative events have so far taken place in

Details of presentations and work can be found in the links above

The 6th Regional ED Safety Collaborative event hosted by Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust took place on 30 April 2020.

  • See also our work to improve mental healthcare for emergency department frequent attenders. More here