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Root Cause Analysis (RCA) toolkit

Reference number
Issue date01 January 2004

This Root Cause Analysis (RCA) online toolkit has been created to guide NHS staff through the process of conducting an RCA investigation.

Ensuring patients are treated safely is the top priority for NHS staff. When incidents do happen, it is important that lessons are learned across the NHS to prevent the same incidents occurring elsewhere.

RCA investigations are a well recognised way of doing this, offering a framework for reviewing patient safety incidents (as well as claims and complaints).  Investigations can identify what, how, and why patient safety incidents have happened. It is then possible to use analysis to identify areas for change, develop recommendations and look for new solutions. Ultimately, investigations should help to stop incidents from happening again.

The online toolkit enables the user to:

  • understand what an RCA investigation is
  • develop appropriate knowledge and skill to play a part in an RCA investigation
  • develop a causal-based approach to the analysis of issues and problems that threaten patient safety, rather than one of blame.