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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
Harm from flushing of nasogastric tubes before confirmation of placement22 March 2012Alert
Recognising and instigating prompt treatment for necrotising fasciitis | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Prevention of Harm with Buccal Midazolam | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Risk of harm following gastric bypass | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Diagnosis of death after cessation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Risk of harm from CPM syndrome following rapid correction of sodium | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Patient safety issues related to gastrostomy | Signal28 February 2012Signal
Minimising Risks of Mismatching Spinal, Epidural and Regional Devices with...28 November 2011Alert
Prevention of harm with alfacalcidol preparations | Signal29 September 2011Signal
The adult patient’s passport to safer use of insulin30 March 2011Alert
Intravenous morphine administration on neonatal units | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Monitoring plasma sodium levels in babies | Signal25 March 2011Signal
Multiple use of single use injectable medicines | Signal25 March 2011Signal
The risk of harm when using intravenous connectors in children and babies |...14 February 2011Signal
The risk of harm from children and neonates entangled in lines | Signals14 February 2011Signal
Safer spinal (intrathecal), epidural and regional devices31 January 2011Alert
Safer ambulatory syringe drivers16 December 2010Alert
Preventing fatalities from medication loading doses25 November 2010Alert
Detecting harm following paracetamol overdose | Signal29 October 2010Signal
Overdose of intravenous paracetamol in infants and children | Signal29 October 2010Signal
Anti-cancer medicines28 October 2010Guidance
Feasibility of confirming drugs administered during anaesthesia12 October 2010Data report
Never Events Annual Report 2009/1008 October 2010Data report
Prevention of over infusion of intravenous fluid* and medicines in neonates26 August 2010Alert
Reducing treatment dose errors with low molecular weight heparins30 July 2010Alert
Safer administration of insulin16 June 2010Alert
Design for patient safety: A guide to the design of electronic infusion devices24 March 2010Guidance
Never Events - Framework: Update for 2010-1124 March 2010Guidance
Wrong strength phenol | Signal26 February 2010Signal
Injectable medicines in theatres | Signal26 February 2010Signal