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Significant Event Audit

Reference number
Issue date01 October 2008

This guidance enables primary care teams to conduct an effective Significant Event Audit (SEA) with the aim of improving care for all patients. SEA enables primary care teams to learn from patient safety incidents and ‘near misses’, and to highlight and learn from both strengths and weaknesses in the care they provide. 


The guidance gives primary care teams a tool to develop a structured and effective SEA process and embed it as an improvement tool within their practice. The guidance defines the process, outlines effective practices and demonstrates what can be achieved through examples.


Improving the quality and safety of patient care is a key clinical governance priority in primary healthcare and SEA has an important role in contributing to this aim.


The seven stages of SEA:

  1. Awareness and prioritisation of a significant event
  2. Information gathering
  3. The facilitated team-based meeting
  4. Analysis of the significant event
  5. Agree, implement and monitor change
  6. Write it up
  7. Report, share and review
Significant Event Audit
Significant Event Audit - 1.02 MB 0789 | Significant Event Audit | 2008-10 | V1
Significant Event Audit | quick guide
Significant Event Audit | quick guide - 268 KB 0789A | Significant Event Audit | quick guide | 2008-10 | V1