Research team:       

Professor Rebecca Lawton
Iona Elborough-Whitehouse
Ruth Simms-Ellis
Vicky Padgett
Dr Jayne Marran
Dr Gillian Janes

Rationale: ‘Second victim’ is the term used to refer to healthcare workers who are impacted by patient safety incidents. Whilst patients and families will always be the first priority following safety incidents, the wellbeing of the staff involved is often overlooked but can leave them lacking confidence, unable to perform their job, requiring time off, or leaving the profession.

There is existing evidence on the importance and effectiveness of support programmes for such staff and their potential to counter the negative impact outlined above to result in more positive impact for staff and patients alike.

Overall plan: To develop a website resource that provides key information and signposting for:

  • Second victims
  • Colleagues and managers wishing to help an individual in this situation
  • Those seeking to develop more strategic, organisational and system level support.

The website (access here) has been developed with key stakeholders including the Improvement Academy and the Royal College of Physicians as well as second victims themselves . For example, it will include a selection of short videos in which staff share their either their personal experience post incident, including what helped or hindered this and tips for others, and how they supported a team member or colleagues in this situation.

Following initial launch of the resource in early 2019, user evaluation and feedback will inform its ongoing development.


To volunteer your story as a second victim, colleague or manager supporting someone in this situation for inclusion on the website, please contact Dr Judith

For more information about the website please contact


Note: volunteers to share their experiences are still sought. They can be filmed discussing their experiences with a development team member during a structured conversation or have these portrayed by an actor. The main focus will be on the individual’s experience post incident, what helped or hindered this and tips for others.