Safety-Netting Coding Tool

What is the Safety-Netting Coding Tool (SaNCoT)?

SaNCoT was developed by Peter Edwards and co-authors from the University of Bristol. It is a Microsoft Excel/Access-based coding scheme which allows for the recording of how GPs communicate and/or document safety-netting advice and other safety-netting activities, such as discussing diagnostic uncertainty and the expected time-course of an illness.

More detailed quantitative analysis of recorded data can be completed in Stata. The Stata analysis .do files are available from Dr Peter Edwards on request.

Who is it for?

The full coding tool has been validated for use in healthcare research.

The shortened consultation assessment can be used to assess and aid giving feedback on the safety-netting practices of healthcare professionals in observed or recorded consultations.

Terms and conditions of use

SaNCoT is available free for non-commercial use only and is licensed under a SaNCOT licence: SaNCot User Agreement (PDF, 64kB). The terms of this licence state that the SaNCoT must not be adapted, translated or otherwise adjusted without first seeking prior approval from the authors. The University of Bristol will retain rights to any adapted or translated versions.


SaNCot User Agreement (PDF, 64kB)

SaNCoT Research Codebook (PDF, 605kB)

SaNCoT Consultation Assessment (PDF, 138kB)

SaNCoT 1.0 Full Research Version.xlsm

SaNCoT 1.1 Medical Notes Edition.xlsm

SaNCoT1.1 Medical Notes Edition Codebook (PDF, 374kB)

SaNCoT 2.1 Medical Notes Edition Codebook (PDF, 795kB)

‌SaNCoT2.1 Medical Notes Blank.accdb

The Stata analysis .do files are available from Dr Peter Edwards on request.


Edwards PJ, et al. Factors affecting the documentation of spoken safety-netting advice in routine GP consultations. Br J Gen Pract. 2021;0195. DOI:  

Edwards PJ, Ridd MJ, Sanderson E, Barnes RK. Safety-netting in routine primary care consultations: an observational study using video-recorded UK consultations. Br J Gen Pract 2019; DOI:

Edwards PJ, Ridd MJ, Sanderson E, Barnes RK. Development of a tool for coding safety-netting behaviours in primary care: a mixed-methods study using existing UK consultation recordings. Br J Gen Pract 2019; DOI:


Original SaNCoT version 1.0

This project was funded as part of Peter Edwards’ Elizabeth Blackwell Clinical Primer Research Fellowship, which was supported by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative (grant reference number ISSF3: 204813/Z/16/Z).

Matthew Ridd was funded by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (grant reference number PDF-2014-07-013). Rebecca Barnes was funded by NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West.

The views expressed in the publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

Medical notes edition (1.1) & Access version (2.1)

Peter Edwards’ time was funded as an NIHR badged GP Academic Clinical Fellow financed by Health Education England South West/ Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (ACF-2018-25-502) and an NIHR In-Practice Fellowship (NIHR302692).


The authors would like to thank their patient and public involvement group who helped evaluate and refine the tool, all the doctors and patients who participated in the original One in a Million study, and the UnPAC study ‘Understanding the causes of miscommunication in primary care consultations for children with acute cough’ funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

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