SAFER-Plus mental health discharge intervention featured in new Royal College of Physicians guidance

10 Dec

by Natasha Tyler, Research Associate in Safer Care Systems and Transitions theme

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has published new guidance on medication safety at hospital discharge, and it includes SAFER-Plus, a new mental health discharge intervention that has been developed by researchers at the GM PSTRC.

What is the SAFER-Plus intervention?

The SAFER-Plus mental health discharge intervention included in the RCP guidance was developed by Dr Maria Panagioti, Dr Natasha Tyler, Dr Claire Planner, Dr Richard Keers and a team of researchers and clinicians. It is based on years of work in the GM PSTRC and had a lot of input from patients, carers, healthcare professionals and other organisations.

This intervention is based on the NHS Improvement SAFER patient flow bundle, which aims to improve care transitions across the NHS. There is evidence this intervention works, but our patient and public involvement group felt that it needed some changes to make it more suitable for mental health.

We changed the intervention based on interviews we had done, the advice of a panel of experts, plus findings from our previous work. The intervention focuses on:

  • Using best practice guidelines
  • Capturing and sharing information
  • Sharing decision-making.

The intervention begins during hospital admission, when it focuses on improving the social information that is collected and recorded. It makes sure each weekly reviews happen in the same way during the inpatient stay. Then, when a patient is ready for discharge, the intervention focuses on shared decision-making using a patient written discharge plan. The process is shown in this Safer-Plus illustration.  

What are the next steps for the SAFER Plus intervention?

Dr Natasha Tyler has been awarded a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) Postdoctoral Fellowship to test how practical the intervention is and whether people will want to use it.

Also, a paper called ‘Developing best practice guidance for discharge planning using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method‘ that describes the methods used to develop the intervention has been published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

If you would like more information about the SAFER-Plus project please contact:

What is the new RCP guidance on hospital discharge?

The RCP guidance that includes the SAFER-Plus intervention is called ‘Medication safety at hospital discharge: improvement guide and resource’. It aims to develop a better understanding of problems that happen when people move between care settings. For example, medication safety can be an issue during hospital discharge. The guidance takes teams through a step-by-step process showing how the quality of hospital discharge can be improved.

Project lead and RCP medicines safety clinical fellow Jen Flatman describes the guide: “We hope that these resources will act as an essential guide and reference source for you and your team, as you embark on your quality improvement project and make improvements in medication safety within and between your organisations.”

One Response to “SAFER-Plus mental health discharge intervention featured in new Royal College of Physicians guidance”


  1. NIHR ALERT: People discharged from inpatient mental healthcare are at increased risk of dying | GM PSTRC - August 1, 2022

    […] The same research team is now investigating how people access services and are supported by their GPs in the year after discharge. They are exploring whether people who die by suicide are less able to access care. Colleagues at the University of Manchester are researching what patient safety interventions are effective after discharge. They developed Safer Plus, a step-by-step guide to improve the quality of hospital discharges. Safer Plus has been included in Royal College of Physicians guidance. […]

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