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Safety culture assessment in community pharmacy: development, face validity, and feasibility of the Manchester Patient Safety Assessment Framework


Objective: To develop a framework that could be used by community pharmacies to self-assess their current level of safety culture maturity, which has high face validity and is both acceptable and feasible for use in this setting.

Design: An iterative review process in which the framework was developed and evaluated through a series of 10 focus groups with a purposive sample of 67 community pharmacists and support staff in the UK.

Main outcome measures: Development of the framework and qualitative process feedback on its acceptability, face validity, and feasibility for use in community pharmacies.

Results: Using this process, a version of the Manchester Patient Safety Assessment Framework (MaPSAF) was developed that is suitable for application to community pharmacies. The participants were able to understand the concepts, recognised differences between the five stages of safety culture maturity, and concurred with the descriptions from personal experience. They also indicated that they would be willing to use the framework but recognised that staff would require protected time in order to complete the assessment.

Conclusions: In practice the MaPSAF is likely to have a number of uses including raising awareness about patient safety and illustrating any differences in perception between staff, stimulating discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of patient safety culture within the pharmacy, identifying areas for improvement, and evaluating patient safety interventions and tracking changes over time. This will support the development of a mature safety culture in community pharmacies.

  • patient safety
  • organisational culture
  • community pharmacy

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