The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) today published the latest set of Organisation Patient Safety Incident data.
Today’s figures show that patient safety remains a top priority for the NHS. The number of patient safety incidents in England that occurred between 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2011 and were submitted to the NPSA by 31 May 2011 was 565,153, an increase of 8.5 per cent compared to the previous reporting period (1 April 2010 to 30 September 2010.)
Scrupulous reporting and analysis of safety related incidents, particularly incidents resulting in no or low harm, provides an opportunity to reduce the risk of future incidents through learning. Nearly 100 per cent of trusts in England submitted incident reports to the National Reporting and Learning System for this set of data. 70 per cent of organisations reported monthly during this period, compared with 65 per cent last time.
The National Reporting and Learning System continues to capture, analyse and feedback patient safety incidents to the NHS, and the NHS Commissioning Board will maintain oversight of the system in the future. The data published today also shows that:
388,444 (69 per cent) of patient safety incidents resulted in no harm to the patient;
136,348 (24 per cent) resulted in low harm;
35,349 (six per cent) resulted in moderate harm;
5,012 (one per cent) resulted in death or severe harm.*
The most common types of incident were: patient accidents – slips, trips and falls (28 per cent); medication incidents (11 per cent); incidents relating to treatment and/or procedures (11per cent).
Commenting on the data, Sarndrah Horsfall, Chief Executive of the National Patient Safety Agency, said.
“Identifying patient safety incidents and ensuring they are reported and analysed is at the heart of reducing risk in healthcare.
“NHS organisations should use the data and review the tools, guidance and support available to them. This will ensure patient safety incidents continue to be reported and learned from, strengthening the patient safety culture across all levels of the NHS.”
For a full breakdown of figures see: www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/organisationdata
*Definitions of levels of 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 Matthew Grek in the NPSA Press Office:
0207 927 9362 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
3. The national function for patient safety will continue within the NHS Commissioning Board and tools, guidance and support will be available to lead improvements in patient safety. A key role of the NHS Commissioning Board will be oversight of the National Reporting and Learning System which will continue to capture, analyse and feedback patient safety incidents to the NHS.