These webpages identify content and actions from previous patient safety alerts issued up to November 2019 by the NHS England and NHS Improvement National Patient Safety Team (or its predecessor organisation, the NPSA), that have been identified following clinical review as an ongoing enduring standard. These are standards that remain valid to a specific speciality or clinical issue beyond the alert’s ‘action complete date’.
The enduring standards are specific actions from previous patient safety alerts identified as likely to always be relevant or unlikely to change in the immediate future. They represent actions that should be embedded systematically across NHS provider organisations.
The pages should be read alongside our main enduring standards and general principles from previously issued patient safety alerts webpage.
The content on these pages replaces any need to directly refer to the full versions of the archived alerts.
How to use the enduring standards
The standards do not set out any new actions for organisations to implement. They exist to help providers confirm that enduring standards from previously completed alerts have been embedded into local systems.
The standards are categorised on individual webpages covering the following areas:
- Medication safety
- Medical device safety
- Surgical/anaesthetic/maternity safety
- Cross-specialty safety:
- Acute kidney injury (AKI)
- Emergency calls
- Identity bands.
While the standards are intended to replace any need to directly refer to the original alerts, we have provided links to the alerts that contain specific actions deemed to be an enduring standard to provide references.
Material in past alerts should be used with caution. Give consideration to its current relevance, unless specifically highlighted here as an enduring standard.
The enduring standards remain best practice at the date this page was last reviewed (February 2022), and will be updated as required. However, please be aware that these standards may be superseded by any subsequent guidance issued by a national body, including subsequent National Patient Safety Alerts and NICE clinical guidelines.
The NHS Never Events list updated in 2021 has a supporting document that describes ‘national safety requirements’ within past NPSA alerts. These are the equivalent of enduring standards and the information below fully aligns with the Never Event supporting document. The supporting document continues to be available alongside these webpages for ease of reference for those whose work focuses only on Never Events, rather than wider safety improvement work.
All previous alerts can be found via the links below. The archived sites cannot be maintained or amended, and systems of navigation within them will be limited.
- For alerts published by the NPSA between 01 January 2004 and March 2012: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20171030124143/http://www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/resources/type/alerts/
- For alerts published by the national patient safety team at NHS England and/or NHS Improvement between December 2013 and October 2019, search: https://www.cas.mhra.gov.uk/Home.aspx:
- select ‘NHS Improvement’ as alert originator to find alerts issued between April 2016 and October 2019
- select ‘NHS England’ as alert originator to find alerts issued between December 2013 and March 2016.
Note, many other teams and bodies issue alerts or messages via the Central Alerting System, including other teams within NHS England and NHS Improvement (eg Estates and Facilities). New standards for National Patient Safety Alerts have been agreed across all national bodies and teams with safety responsibilities, and the national patient safety team at NHS England and NHS Improvement became an accredited issuer of National Patient Safety Alerts in 2019. Alerts published by the national patient safety team since November 2019 can be found at https://www.england.nhs.uk/patient-safety/patient-safety-alerts/.