Organisations should no longer collect ‘classic’ or ‘next generation (Medication, Mental Health, Maternity and C&YPS)’ Safety Thermometer data or submit it to the Safety Thermometer portal. Information on replacement metrics drawn from routinely collected data can be found on the Patient Safety Measurement Unit webpage.

The Safety Thermometer, launched in 2010, was one of the largest and longest-lasting data collection exercises in NHS history. It had a powerful impact in its early years. But more recent evaluations, research and feedback have shown that the data was incomplete, and it was no longer able to support improvement in the intended way. Because of this, new data sources were explored that could take the burden of data collection away from clinical staff and support new improvement initiatives. Ending the Safety Thermometer were publicly consulted on in 2019/20 as part of proposed changes to the NHS Standard Contract. The response supported ending the national collection of Safety Thermometer data from April 2020, and using alternative data sources to continue improving pressure ulcer prevention, falls prevention, VTE prevention and prevention of healthcare-associated infection.

All data collection for the ‘classic’ Safety Thermometer and the ‘next generation’ Safety Thermometers will therefore stop after March 2020. Plans for nationally-produced replacement data to support improvement drawn from routinely collected sources will be provided or signposted on the NHS England and NHS Improvement Patient Safety Measurement Unit webpage as soon as possible.


The Maternity Safety Thermometer is a measurement tool for improvement that focuses on: perineal and abdominal trauma, post-partum haemorrhage, infection, separation from baby and psychological safety.

The tool allows teams to take a temperature check on harm and records the number of harms associated with maternity care, but also records the proportion of mothers who have experienced ‘harm free’ care. It supports improvements in patient care and patient experience, prompts immediate actions by healthcare staff and integrates measurement for improvement into daily routines.

This is a point of care survey that is carried out on a single day each month on 100% of postnatal mothers and babies. Data are collected from postnatal wards, women’s homes and community postnatal clinics.

The Maternity Safety Thermometer was tested in a pilot phase from June 2013 until October 2014 and is now fully released and available to any organisation wishing to get involved. Further guidance is available above.