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National Patient Safety Agency

NPSA releases Organisation Patient Safety Incident reporting data (England)

Wednesday 02 March 2011

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has today published the latest set of Organisation Patient Safety Incident data.    


Today’s figures show that the number of patient safety incidents in England that occurred between 1 April – 30 September 2010 and reported to the NPSA by 30 November 2010 was 547,879 – an increase of four per cent compared to the previous reporting period (1 October 2009 – 31 March 2010). All trusts in England submitted incident reports for this set of data.


The data also show that: 380,243 (69 per cent) of patient safety incidents resulted in no harm to the patient; 129,968 (24 per cent) resulted in low harm; 33,310 (six per cent) resulted in moderate harm; and 4,358 (0.8 per cent) resulted in death or severe harm.*


The most common types of incident were: patient accidents – slips, trips and falls (29 per cent); medication incidents (11 per cent); incidents relating to treatment and/or procedures (10 per cent).


There was a 10 per cent increase in reporting from primary care organisations.


There has also been an increase in regular reporting: 66 per cent of organisations reported monthly during this period, compared with 63 per cent last time. This has been calculated from the total number of reports submitted during the period 1 April – 30 September 2010.


For a full breakdown of figures see: www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/organisationdata 



*Definitions of levels of harm: 
No harm: 

Impact prevented – any patient safety incident that had the potential to cause harm but was prevented, resulting in no harm to people receiving NHS-funded care. 
Impact not prevented – any patient safety incident that ran to completion but no harm occurred to people receiving NHS-funded care. 
Low: Any patient safety incident that required extra observation or minor treatment and caused minimal harm, to one or more persons receiving NHS-funded care. 
Moderate: Any patient safety incident that resulted in a moderate increase in treatment and which caused significant but not permanent harm, to one or more persons receiving NHS-funded care. 

Severe: Any patient safety incident that appears to have resulted in permanent harm to one or more persons receiving NHS-funded care. 
Death: Any patient safety incident that directly resulted in the death of one or more persons receiving NHS-funded care. 

Notes to editors 

1. Media enquiries to the NPSA Press Office:

Matthew Grek – 020 7927 9362 / matthew.grek@npsa.nhs.uk

Out of hours –  0788 411 5956


2. Following the publication of the Arms Length Body Review on 26 July 2010, the NPSA has stressed the importance for all NHS organisations across England and Wales to continue reporting patient safety incidents through the National Reporting and Learning System as this aspect of work will continue.