The Safety Toolkit

Sue Robinson FRCP FCEM and Ruth Brown FRCS FCEM

Emergency Medicine in the UK is currently facing tough challenges. Many Emergency Departments are understaffed and facing an unprecedented increase in attendances whilst under intense pressure to achieve quantitative targets. These demands in conjunction with the findings of the Francis1 and Berwick2 reports means that the absolute requirement to deliver high quality and safe care in Emergency Departments has never been greater.  To help support our membership in this, the College of Emergency Medicine has developed the Safety Toolkit which aims to describe the structures, processes and skills required for a ‘safe’ department.

Originally, the concept behind this toolkit was to enable any Emergency Physician, starting from scratch, to construct a safety framework that contained all the key elements necessary to support the delivery of high quality care whilst at the same time being vigilant to ongoing risks. We acknowledge that in reality, the majority of Emergency Departments will already have well established structures for ensuring safe care, but it is also probable that not all elements are as effective as they should be; so we hope this toolkit will provide something useful for all. There are resources identified within each section to stimulate, provoke and challenge, as well as guide personal development. There are overlapping references and differing perspectives but the vision is of a resource for change and development.

The Safety Toolkit can be downloaded here:


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