O’Hara, Jane

Jane OHara


Tel: 01274 383690
Twitter: @janekohara


Jane is an Associate Professor in Patient Safety & Improvement Science, and Deputy Director of the Yorkshire Quality & Safety Research Group.  Graduating with a BSc in Psychology & Zoology from the University of Nottingham in 1996, Jane first spent four years working for the NHS in Scotland in Edinburgh.  After undertaking an MSc in Organisational Psychology at the University of Sheffield in 2001, she completed a PhD in organisational and health psychology with Professor Eamonn Ferguson at the University of Nottingham.  Jane’s experience centres on large-scale applied research, feasibility and randomised controlled trials, and evaluation of improvement/implementation projects.

Since 2014 Jane has held a joint post between the Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) at the University of Leeds and the Bradford Institute of Health Research.  At LIME, Jane has a role in ensuring that the teaching of patient safety and quality improvement within the medical curriculum remains up-to-date and evidence-based, as well as supervising PhD students and leading on education research. Jane is a member of the ‘Evidence-based Transformations in the NHS’ Theme within the CLAHRC YH, and links into the work of the AHSN Improvement Academy. Jane has received funding from the NIHR, The Health Foundation, Health Education England and the charitable sector.  As of 2017, Jane is leading a theme in the NIHR Yorkshire & Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre on the involvement of patients in patient safety and quality.

Research Interests

Jane has a broad range of research interests, which centre on the use of theory and robust methods to understand and improve the safety of healthcare.  Principal interests include the involvement of patients in patient safety, how we measure quality and patient safety and use this information to improve care, the use of behaviour change approaches to support safety improvement, and the role of individual differences in influencing quality and safety outcomes.

Publications & Conferences

  • Jane K O’Hara, Katja Grasic, Nils Gutacker, Andrew Street, Robbie Foy, Carl Thompson, John Wright, and Rebecca Lawton. Identifying positive deviants in healthcare quality and safety: a mixed methods study. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, First Published May 11, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076818772230
  • JK O’Hara, K Aase, J Waring. Scaffolding our systems? Patients and families ‘reaching in’as a source of healthcare resilience. BMJ Qual Saf; 2018 bmjqs-2018-008216
  • O’Hara JK, Reynolds C, Moore, S et al. What can patients tell us about the quality and safety of hospital care? Findings from a UK multicentre survey study. BMJ Qual Saf, bmjqs-2017-006974.
  • Armitage G, Moore S, Reynolds C, Laloë PA, Coulson C, McEachan R, Lawton R, Watt I, Wright J, O’Hara JK.
  • Patient-reported safety incidents as a new source of patient safety data: an exploratory comparative study in an acute hospital in England. Journal of health services research & policy 23 (1), 36-43.
  • Sheard L, Marsh C, O’Hara J, Armitage G, Wright J, Lawton R. Exploring how ward staff engage with the implementation of a patient safety intervention: a UK-based qualitative process evaluation. BMJ open. 2017 Jul 1;7(7):e014558.
  • Louch G, O’Hara J, Gardner P, O’Connor DB. A Daily Diary Approach to the Examination of Chronic Stress, Daily Hassles and Safety Perceptions in Hospital Nursing. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2017 May 22:1-1.
  • Louch G, O’Hara J, Mohammed MA. A qualitative formative evaluation of a patient‐centred patient safety intervention delivered in collaboration with hospital volunteers. Health Expectations. 2017 Jun 15.
  • Sheard L, Marsh C, O’Hara JK, Armitage G, Wright J, Lawton R. (2017). The Patient Feedback Response Framework – Understanding why UK hospital staff find it difficult to make improvements based on patient feedback: A qualitative study. Social Science & Medicine, 178, 19-27.
  • Lawton R, O’Hara JK, Sheard L, Armitage G, Cocks K, Buckley H, Corbacho B, Reynolds R, Marsh C, Moore S, Watt I, Wright J. (2017) Can patient involvement improve patient safety?  A cluster randomized control trial of the Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment (PRASE) Intervention. BMJ Quality & Safety. DOI: 1136/bmjqs-2016-005570
  • Johnson J, Louch G, Dunning A, Johnson O, Grange A, Reynolds C, Hall L, O’Hara JK. Burnout mediates the association between depression and patient safety perceptions: A cross‐sectional study in hospital nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2017 Jan 1.
  • O’Hara JK, Lawton RJ, Armitage G, et al. The Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment (PRASE) intervention: A feasibility study. BMC Health Services Research 2016;16:676. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1919-z
  • Sheard L, O’Hara J, Armitage G, Wright J, Cocks K, McEachan R, Watt I, Lawton R. Erratum to: Evaluating the PRASE patient safety intervention-a multi-centre, cluster trial with a qualitative process evaluation: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2016 Dec 20;17(1):605.
  • Albutt AK, O’Hara JK, Conner MT, Fletcher SJ, Lawton RJ. Is there a role for patients and their relatives in escalating clinical deterioration in hospital? A systematic review. Health Expectations. 2016 Sep 1.doi:10.1111/hex.12496
  • O’Hara JK, Lawton RJ. At a crossroads? Key challenges and future opportunities for patient involvement in patient safety. BMJ Qual Saf 2016;25:565-568 Published Online First: 22 June 2016 doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2016-005476.
  • O’Hara JK, Armitage G, Reynolds C, Coulson C, Thorp L, Din I, Watt I, Wright J. How might health services capture patient-reported safety concerns in a hospital setting? An exploratory pilot study of three mechanisms. BMJ Qual Saf. Published Online First: 4th February 2016. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2015- 004260.
  • Louch G, O’Hara J, Gardner P, O’Connor DB. The daily relationships between staffing, safety perceptions and personality in hospital nursing: A longitudinal on-line diary study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2016 Jul 31;59:27-37.
  • Heyhoe J, Birks Y, Harrison R, O’Hara JK, Cracknell A, Lawton R.  The role of emotion in patient safety: Are we brave enough to scratch beneath the surface? 2015. J R Soc Med. doi:10.1177/0141076815620614.
  • Buckley H, Cocks K, Lawton R, O’Hara JK, Sheard L, Marsh C, Corbacho Martin B, Watt I, Wright J. Outcomes to measure patient safety: the patient reporting and action for a safe environment (PRASE) trial. Trials 2015; 16:52 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-16-S2-P52.
  • Haslam CO, O’Hara JK, Kazi A, Twumasi R, Haslam R. Proactive occupational safety and health management: Promoting good health and good business. Safety Science 81, 99-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2015.06.010
  • Hernan AL, Giles SG, O’Hara JK, Fuller J, Johnson JK, Dunbar JA. Developing a primary care patient measure of safety (PC PMOS): a modified Delphi process and face validity testing. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015; doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004268.
  • Lawton R, O’Hara JK, Sheard L, et al. Can staff and patient perspectives on hospital safety predict harm-free care? An analysis of staff and patient survey data and routinely collected outcomes. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015;24:369-376.
  • Sheard L, O’Hara J, Armitage G, Wright J, Cocks K, McEachan R, Watt I, & Lawton R. Evaluating the PRASE patient safety intervention – a multi-centre, cluster trial with a qualitative process evaluation: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 2014 15:420.
  • Prestwich, A., Conner, M. T., Lawton, R. J., Ward, J. K., Ayres, K., & McEachan, R. R. (2014). Partner‐and planning‐based interventions to reduce fat consumption: Randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(1), 132-148.
  • Conner M, McEachan R, Taylor N, O’Hara J, Lawton, R. 2014. Role of Affective Attitudes and Anticipated Affective Reactions in Predicting Health Behaviors. Health Psychology, doi: 10.1037/hea0000143
  • O’Hara JK, Isden R. 2013. Identifying risks and monitoring safety: the role of patients and citizens. Invited Thought Paper for the Health Foundation.
  • McEachan RR, Lawton RJ, O’Hara JK, Armitage G, Giles S, Parveen S, Watt IS, Wright J; on behalf of the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group. (2013). Developing a reliable and valid patient measure of safety in hospitals (PMOS): a validation study. BMJ Quality & Safety; doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002312.
  • Armitage G, Ward J, Birks Y (2013). Patients as reviewers of quality and safety. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 39(1) 5-6.
  • Ward, JK, & Armitage, G (2012). Can patients report patient safety incidents in a hospital setting? A systematic review. BMJ Quality & Safety, doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2011-000213.
  • Ferguson, E, Ward JK, Skatova, A, Cassaday, H, Bibby, P, & Lawrence, C (2012). Health Specific Traits Beyond the Five Factor Model, Cognitive Processes, and Trait Expression: Replies to Watson (2012); Matthew’s, (2012) and Haslam, Jetten, Reynolds and Reicher (2012). Health Psychology Review, DOI:10.1080/17437199.2012.701061.
  • Prestwich, A, Conner, MT, Lawton, RJ, Ward, JK, Ayres, K, & McEachan, RRC (2012). Randomized controlled trial of collaborative implementation intentions targeting working adults’ physical activity. Health Psychology, 31(4), 486-495, doi:10.1037/a0027672
  • Ward, JK, McEachan, RRC, Lawton, R, Armitage, G, Watt, I, & Wright, J (2011). Patient involvement in patient safety: Protocol for developing an intervention using patient reports of organisational safety and patient incident reporting. BMC Health Services Research 2011, 11:130 (27 May 2011).
  • Sirriyeh, RH, Lawton, RJ, Ward, JK (2010). Physical activity and adolescents: An exploratory randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the influence of affective and instrumental text messages. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(4), 825-840.
  • Ward, JK, Haslam, C & Haslam, R (2008). The impact of health and safety management on organisations and their staff. IOSH Report
  • Ferguson, E, Cassaday, H, Ward, JK & Weyman, A (2006). Triggers for non-specific symptoms in the workplace. Research report to the Health and Safety Executive, RR501, Sudbury: HSE Books.

Book chapters:

  • Ward, JK, Giles S, Hrisos S, et al. (2012). Involving patients in their safety: Initiatives, innovations and recommendations for developing your practice. In: Lawton R.L and Armitage G, (Eds). Innovating for Patient Safety. Sage, Learning Matters: London.

 Recent relevant conferences and invited talks:

  • Invited talk (Workshop) – O’Hara JK, Giles, S, Campbell, S, Boote, J & Walsh, P (Chair). ISQua Conference 2014, Rio de Janeiro. “The past, present and future of patient involvement in patient safety”.
  • O’Hara, JK, Sheard, L, Lawton R, Armitage, G. ISQua Conference 2013, Edinburgh. “Piloting the PRASE intervention”.
  • Invited speaker – Institute for Health Improvement WIHI. Recorded April 2013 at International Forum for Quality in Healthcare conference, London.
  • Invited ‘masterclass’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital. June 2013. “Developing the PRASE intervention”.
  • Ward, JK & Armitage, G. ISQua Conference 2012, Geneva. “Testing three mechanisms for capturing patient safety reports from patients”.


  • 2016: NIHR Programme for Applied Health Research. £ 2,400,000 Co-applicant and Workstream Lead. Partners at Care Transitions (PACT): Improving Patient Experience and Safety at Transitions of Care.
  • 2016: HEE Yorkshire and Humber. £ Principal Investigator. Using patient feedback about the safety of care to support interprofessional education. Principal Investigator.
  • 2015: NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research. £375,000.  Co-applicant. Understanding and enhancing how hospital staff learn from and act on patient experience data.
  • 2014: The Health Foundation. £599,984. Co-applicant. Safety Measuring and Monitoring Programme.
  • 2013: The Health Foundation. £445,000. Lead Investigator (Evaluation). Putting the patient at the heart of patient safety.
  • 2011: Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Childrens Charity. £7,500. Principal Investigator. Developing a transitional pathway for young adults with thalassaemia major, and their families.