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Meet the team


  • Steven Robertson
  • Philip Oliver, Tony Ryan, Angela Tod

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Results from early collaborations with academic research unit and a covid-19 lead in primary care have shown that staff in primary care settings are less protected and safe compared to staff in secondary care settings during Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the initial findings from a RCN administered survey indicate that some primary care staff have been more protected than others. Our preliminary work with a cohort of ANP’s in primary care also suggests that there are differences in experience between primary and secondary care. Whilst there has been an organised blanket approach to organisation and planning for safe practice, the approach has been less organised in primary care. The main difference in primary care is that the initiative and the plan have been up to each practice cluster to decide upon and implement. The reason for these two findings has not yet been fully explored.

What does your project aim to achieve?


The aim of this research is to identify the processes which enable safe working in primary care by involving stakeholders to identify what the important factors are. By measuring the presence and/or absence of key factors in case studies of practices across the UK, we will describe the processes and key conditions that enable staff and patient safety. This will be a lesson for all successful and less successful in implementing safe practice We expect to be able to make recommendations that could reduce risk to health care professionals in primary care settings.

How will the project be delivered?

Our study will be carried out in three phases.

Phase I will be primarily to collect and quantitative data in order to identify barriers and enablers as well as provide data to identify case studies for Part II. We will invite all participants in Part I to consent to taking part in Part II of the study.  Part II of the study will involve interviews with participants from case study (primary care sites). Findings from Part II of the study will then be used as a basis for workshops with participants and CCGs (Phase III). The aim of this final phase will be to co-create best practice guidelines and develop policy recommendations with the phase II participants and a local CCG.

We will work with the Clinical Research Network (CRN) leads and GP leads in the CRN clusters, and the Primary Care Services research group for recruitment support.


How is your project going to share learning?

The knowledge transfer of best practice guidelines to primary care practices and professionals would help improve respiratory virus transmitted safety and shielding practices. The policy recommendations would help demonstrate some of the resource and process factors at an organisational and system level that might be required to facilitate this best practice and thereby help improve safety at this organisational and system level. Currently, there is no foreseeable end to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The eradication of Covid-19 Is unlikely until there is an effective vaccine. Therefore, any findings that have an impact on safety by reducing transmission can bring valuable improvement to the current situation. Health care services and in particular, primary care services are facing unprecedented challenges. Any knowledge generated from this research could be beneficial to any future similar pandemic outbreak. In particular, for best approach to safe management and delivery of health services in primary care.

How you can contribute

  • how to improve the question
  • how to improve the scope
  • comments on the clarity of the question


  1. Thank you Emma for your feedback! I will aim to connect with q members who are interested in these topics. Would you be able to provide any names of members/groups so that I can contact them?


    Best wishes


  2. Hi. I'm working with the Health Foundation to connect some of the Q Exchange proposals together & identify opportunities for member conversations. Your proposal sounds very clear and has obvious benefits for the development of safe practice for staff over the coming months. To gain some feedback and support for your proposal, you might want to consider approaching some of the online Q groups. We currently have one for primary care and a few for safety and staff well-being that might be helpful. Have a look on the community pages of this website. Best wishes, Emma

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