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NHS Confed|NPSA briefing: Five actions to improve patient safety reporting

Reference number
Issue date01 June 2008

This joint briefing by the National Reporting and Learning Service and the NHS Confederation sets out five key actions that all organisations can make to improve patient safety by
strengthening reporting and learning.

High reporting is a mark of a ‘high reliability’ organisation. Research shows that trusts with significantly higher levels of incident reporting are more likely to demonstrate other features of a stronger safety culture, such as high NHS Litigation Authority ratings.

A commitment to reporting demonstrates a commitment to patients and their safety. This is recognised in Healthcare Commission (now the Care Quality Commission) core safety standards in England, which include consistency of reporting as one measure, and similar safety governance requirements in Healthcare Standards for Wales.


The key actions are:

  1. give feedback to staff;
  2. focus on learning;
  3. engage frontline staff;
  4. make it easy to report; and
  5. make reporting matter.

The briefing includes more information and case studies to support each of the actions.

NHS Confed - Five actions to improve reporting
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