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Patient safety data

NHS staff report patient safety incidents via their local risk management systems, or e-forms, to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS).


The national data collected in the database allows trends to be identified and this information informs the development of patient safety resources.



Patient safety incident reports

This data shows patient safety incident statistics for trusts in England and Wales.


There is an emerging evidence base that organisations with a higher rate of reporting have a stronger safety culture. High reporters aim to learn from incident reporting to make patient care safer.


More information on Organisation Patient Safety Incident Reports



Extranet reports

Individual organisations can access their reports via NRLS Reporting. The reports compare similar sized organisations from the same care setting for benchmarking.


To maintain confidentiality, each feedback report can only be accessed through NRLS Reporting.

Central Alerting System response data

The NPSA issues patient safety alerts, informing NHS staff of actions to take to help prevent harm to patients.


These alerts are also issued via the Central Alerting System (CAS) a web-based system for issuing patient safety alerts and other safety critical guidance to the NHS and others, in England only.


NHS trusts in England are required to respond to alerts and to indicate when they have completed the actions required, or to confirm that no action is required. This monthly response data is shown in the below workbooks and was published by NPSA between January 2011 and February 2012. 


From March 2012 CAS data is published on the Department of Health Transparency website.


Quarterly Data Summaries

The Quarterly Data Summaries (QDS) set out the number of patient safety incidents reported to the Reporting and Learning System (NRLS), and describes their patterns and trends.


The data include all patient safety incidents reported by NHS organisations in England and Wales.
Two sets of data and analysis are presented in each QDS:


  1. Number of reports made to the NRLS by quarter, using data based on the date that the report was received

  2. An overview of patterns and trends in incident reports using data based on the date that the incidents occurred. 


 View the Quarterly Data Summaries.

Patient Safety Observatory Reports

Incident reporting on its own can never tell us all we need to know about patient safety. Instead, a range of information sources and data is needed to achieve a more comprehensive understanding.


The Patient Safety Observatory was established by the National Patient Safety Agency to draw upon a range of intelligence sources to identify and monitor patient safety incidents, and to highlight and prioritise areas for action. Sources include litigation bodies, industry and patients, and together they provide a more complete picture of patient safety across all healthcare sectors.


A series of reports has been published by the Observatory. The reports:


  • consider the available data from reported patient safety incidents

  • identify the learning from these in order to achieve safer healthcare


View the Patient Safety Observatory reports