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Patient Safety


Practical information, tools and support to improve patient safety in the NHS

We receive confidential reports of patient safety incidents from healthcare staff across England and Wales. Clinicians and safety experts analyse these reports to identify common risks to patients and opportunities to improve patient safety.


We work with organisations providing NHS care, colleges and professional groups to set priorities and develop and disseminate actionable learning. Resources include:


Pharmacist dispensing drugs


Transfer of Patient Safety to NHS Improvement 

On 1 April 2016 the statutory patient safety functions previously delivered by NHS England transferred with the national patient safety team to NHS Improvement.


Those statutory functions are the responsibility for:


  • operating the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS); and

  • using information from the NRLS, and elsewhere, to develop advice and guidance for the NHS on reducing risks to patients.

From the perspective of providers of NHS-funded care, existing processes and policies for incident reporting and receiving and acting on national patient safety alerts has not changed.



A range of patient safety resources are available. From alerts and guidance to toolkits and data reports.



Targeted resources:


Reporting patient safety incidents

A key factor in providing high-quality care is providing systems for reporting when patients have, or could have been harmed.


This information is fed via local risk management systems to a national database. This data is used to identify trends and to inform the development of interventions to prevent future incidents.




Patient Safety Incident Data

The thirteenth release of the Organisation Patient Safety Incident Reports data will take place at the end of March 2015. 


More on patient safety incident data

Patient safety alerts

View all patient safety alerts issued by the National Patient Safety Agency. 




More on patient safety alerts

Safer Surgery Week 2012

Running from 24 to 30 September 2012, a week focussed on improving implementation of the Five Steps to Safer Surgery.


More on Safer Surgery Week