The RICON project (Risk over network) project aims to improve patient safety within the Critical care network by allowing different units to share problems and best practice to improve the quality of care offered to all critical care patients in the network.  The project focuses on 6 main areas of risk:


  • Infection and VAP
  • Communications failures

  • Lack of access to critical care

  • Harm from mechanical ventilation

  • Medication safety 

  • Airway safety


These have been chosen partly as a result of analysis patient safety incidents reported from different Critical care units.  These incidents have been classified and areas for risk management have been identified by looking for incidents that are either common, are associated with significant harm or are clearly preventative or are combinations of these. We have also decided to look at prevention of lung injury associated with mechanical ventilation as this cannot be identified by reviewing patient safety incidents.


 Collaborative working between units may be particularly helpful because:


  • Share best practice- best practice developed in one unit can be shared with other units.
  • Share problems- Experience gained in other units may solve problems developing in one unit
  • Bench mark and compare how others are doing- Knowing that other units have different outcomes will help focus resources on areas for improvement
  • Produce resources that can be shared with other units- Some resources like teaching materials can be shared between units so reducing the amount of work required in any one unit
  • Purchasing power of several critical care units- Some things are cheaper if a group of units can agree on using one type of equipment so they can buy in bulk
  • Pilot projects. Can be tried in one unit before rolling out over a group of units


Each of the 6 areas of risk has a multidisciplinary team working to improve care in this area.  The teams are made up of doctors, nurses and other health professionals form all of the units across the network.


If you are interested in any of the areas of risk you are welcome to join the group looking at the subject.  To register on internet please follow this link (tony.thomas@srft.nhs.uk)


Each group has its own web page with further details of their work.  To follow links to web pages follow:



Each group also has its own Google group and Drop Box- members of each group can join their own groups to help share ideas and documents