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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.

First Time - File Upload Process (How-to Guidance)

This section describes the steps required to submit your data using the Uploader functionality.


First, you will need to get your Data File from the Frontline tool.

To do this:

  • Make sure all other excel spreadsheets are closed
  • Open your Excel Tool
  • Press 'Administration'
  • Press 'Data Export'
  • A Pop up will say "You are about to create a Data Export file from your ST. Do you wish to continue?"
  • Press 'Yes'
  • It will then save an Excel file and a pop up will say "Export File created"
  • Close the Frontline tool
  • The New file will appear in the same folder as the Frontline tool - The file name should begin with "STX...."

This newly created file is your Data File. This is the one you will need to upload.

  • If you are uploading a very large quantity of data you may need to split the upload into multiple files (e.g. All surveys in groups of years) and then upload the files one at a time. 

Now to Upload it onto the website!

  • Log on to the Safety Thermometer website: using the Username and Password emailed to you.
  • Navigate to Classic > Collect Data > Upload. This page shows a list of any previous uploads with their status however; you may be the first one to load any data for your organisation in which case the list will be empty.


  • Once at the Classic Data Upload page, select the organisation you are uploading data for. Then click the Upload file button. Please note, this only applies if you are linked to more than one organisation. If you are only registered as a user for one organisation, this page will default to that choice.


  • Click on Choose File and navigate to the source of the file you wish to upload, then select the file. Once a file is selected its name will appear next to the Choose file button. Click on the Upload button to start the upload.



  • If any errors occur during processing an error message will be displayed detailing the error, and the status next to that file will show as ‘Error’. You can re-attempt the processing by clicking the Retry Process button next to that file. This should re-run the processing sequences again.
  •  A SUCCESS message will confirm the upload is complete. The most recently uploaded file will appear at the top of the table with a new name. At this time the file is saved on the server only and no data has been copied to the site.



  • When the file is uploaded it is renamed to ensure the name is unique. Click the Process button next to the uploaded file to commence the processing of the file.
  • The file is checked to confirm the sheet name (STDB11) and data in the columns are correct. The organisation code in the first line is checked to see if it matches the user login and organisation permissions. (Users and their logins are assigned to an organisation)
    • Good File:


    • Bad File:



  • The next steps require the user to know their data.
  • Please note, some users will be taken straight to screen "b". This is because they may not have any ‘update recs’ where ward data/records have been amended and show a ‘0’ value.


The first time data is loaded for an organisation.




  • For each of these ‘0’ records known as ‘update recs’, the user will select from the drop down list as to how to treat these. 
  • If there are also ward names found in the file that don’t match any existing wards on the site (for your organisation), it will give you the option to change these to one of the existing ward should you wish to.  Changes to existing wards should be done here.
      1. Update recs: If any lines with ‘0’ record count are found (in your source data file) a decision box will be shown on your upload screen, under the message ‘validating wards...’


        The options available are:

        • Do nothing with these records (Ignore),
        • Remove these records from the dataset (Delete Collection),
        • Or transfer the records to another ward (Change ward name to....)


        We chose to Ignore these 14 ‘Update recs found’. 

        Once all the options have been completed click the Submit updates button to continue processing.


      2. Wards found: If any ward names are found from the upload that do not match those already on the site, the user can decide how these should be treated (Ignore records or Create new ward).  If new wards are to be created this should be done here.


        We chose to Create new ward.


        Click the Submit updates button to continue processing. When all the wards have been matched the collections on the file will be checked against the collections on the site.


      3. Duplicate Collections: There may also be duplicate collections being loaded (in your source data).

        In the example below, the user is uploading a file which contains two duplicate data entries (two lots of 10 surveys for "Sleepy Ward", on collection date 19/09/2013).


        The next prompt is asking the user what to do with these duplicate collections / data lines. Choose whether to;

        • do nothing with those collections on the file (Ignore),
        • replace the collections on the site with those on the file (Replace existing Collection),
        • or add the collection records on the file to what is already on the site (Add to existing Collection).

        We chose to Ignore, and clicked on Submit updates to continue processing.

      4. If there are no duplicates, there are no further steps for uploading this data.


  • Once the uploading is completed, a message will show with the number of records that have been copied to the site.
  • Click on the Close button. Navigate to the Collect Data tab and you should now be able to view these records.


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Delivering ‘harm free’ care to each and every patient.

The ‘harm free’ care programme is ambitious yet simple. Stop dealing with safety issues in silos, think about complications from the patient’s perspective and aim for the absence of all harm to each and every patient.

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“Safety Thermometer provides a ‘temperature check’ on harm that can be used alongside other measures of harm to measure local and system progress in providing a care environment free of harm for our patients.”
Dr Sarah Sample
NHS example

Safety Thermometer User Feedback Survey

The NHS Safety Thermometer has been up and running for more than 8 years! In that time we have collectively surveyed more than 10 milliion patients and created the largest national safety database in the world!

We are always striving for improvement; your feedback is invaluable to us in ensuring we deliver the best possible service to our users. We would be grateful if you could provide some feedback on your use of the NHS Safety Thermometer.

Time is up!

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