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Medication safety

Medication incident reports are those which actually caused harm or had the potential to cause harm involving an error in the process of prescribing, dispensing, preparing, administering, monitoring or providing medicines advice.


Over 90 per cent of incidents reported to the NRLS are associated with no harm or low harm.


The most frequently reported types of medication incidents involve:

  • wrong dose

  • omitted or delayed medicines

  • wrong medicine


Incident reports concerning side effects of medicines and defective products should be sent to the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).



Use the form below to search for resources on medication safety.

TitleIssue dateType
Reducing harm from omitted and delayed medicines in hospital24 February 2010Alert
Design for patient safety: guidelines for the safe on-screen display of...23 February 2010Guidance
Safer use of intravenous gentamicin for neonates09 February 2010Alert
Vaccine cold storage 21 January 2010Alert
Safer lithium therapy01 December 2009Alert
Pain relief in terminal care in the community | Signal27 November 2009Signal
Vaccine storage | Signal24 September 2009Signal
Safety in doses03 September 2009Data report
Outputs of the Safer Medication Team: a review10 August 2009Data report
Review of patient safety for children and young people01 June 2009Data report
Reducing risk of harm from oral bowel cleansing solutions19 February 2009Alert
Never Events Framework 2009-1001 February 2009Guidance
Quarterly Data Summary Issue 11: Learning from reporting - medication incidents...01 February 2009Data report
Reducing risk of overdose with midazolam injection in adults09 December 2008Alert
Quarterly Data Summary Issue 10: Learning from reporting - vaccination...01 November 2008Data report
Risk of omitting Hib when administering Infanrix-IPB+Hib12 October 2008Alert
Vinca alkaloid minibags (adult|adolescent units)11 August 2008Alert
Infusions and sampling from arterial lines Rapid Response Report28 July 2008Alert
Reducing dosing errors with opioid medicines04 July 2008Alert
Design for patient safety: a guide to the labelling and packaging of injectable...01 May 2008Guidance
Intravenous Heparin Flush Solutions24 April 2008Alert
Oral anti-cancer medicines: risks of incorrect dosing22 January 2008Alert
NICE NPSA medicines reconciliation adults hospital01 December 2007Alert
Fire hazard with paraffin-based skin products26 November 2007Alert
Non-lipid and lipid formulations of injectable amphotericin03 September 2007Alert
Risk of confusion between cytarabine and liposomal cytarabine (Depocyte)18 June 2007Alert
Epidural injections and infusions28 March 2007Alert
Promoting safer use of injectable medicines28 March 2007Alert
Promoting safer measurement and administration of liquid medicines via oral and...28 March 2007Alert
Reducing the risk of hyponatraemia when administering intravenous infusions to...28 March 2007Alert