National patient safety incident reports: 29 September 2021

Analysis of the patient safety incidents reported in England to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) up to June 2021.

The data

Every year we publish official statistics on patient safety incidents reported to the NRLS. The National patient safety incident reports (NaPSIRs) set out the number of patient safety incidents reported to the NRLS and describe their patterns and trends. The data include all patient safety incidents reported by NHS organisations in England.

In previous years, for practical reasons, we published two sets of NaPSIRs simultaneously. However, this is the first NaPSIR publication to be published using annual timeframes, and the data will continue to be published annually going forwards.

This publication includes reports covering incidents reported to June 2021, and occurring between April 2020 and March 2021.

Two sets of data and analysis are presented in the NaPSIR data report:

  • the number of reports made to the NRLS by quarter, using data based on the date that the report was received
  • an overview of patterns and trends in incident reports using data based on the date that the incidents occurred

October 2022 correction

Issues were identified with submissions to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) for a small number of providers and data was corrected. As a result, the data and commentary document on this page were updated 13 October 2022.

The updated data do not substantially change the distributions of incident reports, nor any interpretation made in the published commentaries. Minor changes in report number for April 2020 – March 2021 have been seen across organisations.

View the correction impact statement for more detail.

NaPSIR commentary

NaPSIR up to June 2021

This workbook includes data for the period April 2020 – March 2021, which shows a decrease in the numbers of incidents reported to the NRLS compared to April 2019 – March 2020.   This period covers the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Incident reporting has remained high during this year, but the distribution and types of incidents reported has been effected by the reduction in some activity, pressures on emergency admissions and ambulance services, changes to digital services, and COVID-19 related deaths We thank staff for their efforts to support patient safety by continuing to report incidents during this challenging time.

Official statistic compliance

We produce the national patient safety incident report official statistic publications in accordance with the code of practice for statistics. The documents below describe our compliance with the code.

Supporting documents

Supporting information on patient safety incident reporting and the NRLS, what this data is, the methodology, and why we publish it.

How we use incident reports submitted to the NRLS to improve patient safety

You can find details of  how we identify issues and risks by reviewing patient safety incident reports, and the action we take as a direct result to protect patients from harm on our ‘Using patient safety events data to keep patients safe‘ webpages.

The pages include information and case studies on what we’ve done to address ‘rare and under-recognised’ safety issues identified through the NRLS and other sources.

Contact us

If you have any queries in relation to the data contained in the workbooks please contact us.