Release of Organisation Patient Safety Incident reports

The NHS Commissioning Board Authority has published the latest set of Organisation Patient Safety Incident data.

The figures show that the number of patient safety incidents in England that occurred between 1 October 2011 and 31 March 2012 and were submitted to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) by 31 May 2012 was 612,414. This is an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to the previous reporting period (1 April 2011 to 30 September 2011.)

The NRLS is a voluntary reporting tool. It captures, analyses and feeds back patient safety incident reports to the NHS. Reporting and analysis of safety related incident reports, including incidents resulting in no or low harm, provides an opportunity to reduce the risk of future incidents through learning.

90 per cent of trusts in England submitted incident reports to the National Reporting and Learning System for this set of data. 53 per cent of organisations reported monthly during this period, compared with 59 per cent last time.

The data demonstrates that there is increased reporting of incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System, maintaining improvements in reporting culture. The data also shows that:

• 413,459 (68 per cent) of patient safety incident reports resulted in no harm to the patient;
• 154,681 (25 per cent) resulted in low harm;
• 39,039 (six per cent) resulted in moderate harm;
• 5,235 (one per cent) resulted in death or severe harm.

The most common types of incident reported were: patient accidents– slips, trips and falls (26 per cent); medication incidents (11 per cent); incidents relating to treatment and/or procedures (11 per cent). This trend remains consistent with previous data releases.

From October 2011 NHS organisations now report to the NRLS incidents of apparent or actual suicides of people with an episode of care relevant to their suicide, following a revision in guidance on reporting by the Care Quality Commission. Consequently, the Mental Health cluster shows an increase in reported deaths of 70 per cent (from 474 to 806 deaths.) Figures on confirmed suicides by Mental Health patients are published annually by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide.

Excluding deaths in the Mental Health cluster, the number of deaths reported for all care settings decreases from 760 to 746 for the current reporting period, a 2 per cent decrease.

The data shows an increase in no and low reporting organisations, with a total of 101 organisations classed as no or low reporters for the current round of reports. This is compared with 66 organisations in the last report. 100 of the no and low reporting organisations are Primary Care Trusts with no-inpatient provision (commissioning only).

For a full breakdown of figures, on a trust-by-trust basis, see the NRLS website.