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OBJECTIVE: To identify patient safety monitoring strategies in primary care. DESIGN: Open-ended questionnaire survey. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 113 healthcare professionals returned the survey from a group of 500 who were invited to participate achieving a response rate of 22.6%. SETTING: North-West London, United Kingdom. METHOD: A paper-based and equivalent online survey was developed and subjected to multiple stages of piloting. Respondents were asked to suggest strategies for monitoring patient safety in primary care. These monitoring suggestions were then subjected to a content frequency analysis which was conducted by two researchers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Respondent-derived monitoring strategies. RESULTS: In total, respondents offered 188 suggestions for monitoring patient safety in primary care. The content analysis revealed that these could be condensed into 24 different future monitoring strategies with varying levels of support. Most commonly, respondents supported the suggestion that patient safety can only be monitored effectively in primary care with greater levels of staffing or with additional resources. CONCLUSION: Approximately one-third of all responses were recommendations for strategies which addressed monitoring of the individual in the clinical practice environment (e.g. GP, practice nurse) to improve safety. There was a clear need for more staff and resource set aside to allow and encourage safety monitoring. Respondents recommended the dissemination of specific information for monitoring patient safety such as distributing the lessons of significant event audits amongst GP practices to enable shared learning.

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attitudes, patient safety, primary care physicians, questionnaire methods