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Risk assessment/management

Risk assessment is the process that helps organisations understand the range of risks they face, the level of ability to control those risks, their likelihood of occurrence and their potential impacts.


Integrated risk management means lessons learned in one area of risk can be quickly spread to another area of risk.


If risks are properly assessed and managed, this can help set all priorities for NHS organisations, teams and individuals, and improve decision-making to reach a balance of risk, benefit and cost.


The National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) has produced a range of resources to help managers and staff with risk assessment/management relating to patient safety, including:



In addition to these documents, many of the resources listed below will help healthcare staff assess and manage risks to their patients in many scenarios.


Use the box below to search for resources relating to risk assessment/management.

TitleIssue dateType
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) toolkit01 January 2004Toolkit
Incident Decision Tree01 February 2004Toolkit
Learning through action to reduce infection01 June 2006Toolkit
Safe Foundations21 August 2006Toolkit
Risk assessment programme01 November 2006Guidance
Patient Safety Observatory Report 4: Safety in doses01 January 2007Data report
Healthcare risk assessment made easy01 March 2007Guidance
A risk matrix for risk managers01 January 2008Guidance
NHS Confed|NPSA briefing: Five actions to improve patient safety reporting01 June 2008Guidance
Never Events Framework 2009-1001 February 2009Guidance