Latest NHS Patient Safety Incident Data Reveals Over 2,000 Deaths in 6 Months

By Blackwater Law

2,106 deaths recorded by the NHS in England in the last 6-month reporting period from 1st April 2018 to 30th September 2018 were due to patient safety incidents.

The highest recorded total was at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust with 110 deaths, and the ten trusts with the highest recorded incidents causing death are shown below.

Patient Safety Incidents April 2018 to September 2018

NHS Trust Number of patient safety incidents causing death
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust 110
Barnet, Enfield And Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust 78
Tees, Esk And Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust 65
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 54
Devon Partnership NHS Trust 53
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 50
Rotherham Doncaster And South Humber NHS Foundation Trust 48
Cheshire And Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 47
Avon And Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 43
East London NHS Foundation Trust 41


Incidents are rated as causing no harm, low harm, moderate harm, severe harm or death. In the last reporting period, there has been an increase of 683 incidents causing moderate or severe harm, or death. This represents 29,091 for this reporting period against 28,408 incidents for the previous period.

Patient safety incidents are defined by NHS Improvement as:
Any unintended or unexpected incident which could have, or did, lead to harm for one or more patients receiving healthcare.

The full list of categories that patient safety incidents are recorded against are:

  • Access, admission, transfer, discharge (including a missing patient)
  • Clinical assessment (including diagnosis, scans, tests, and assessments)
  • Consent, communication, confidentiality
  • Disruptive, aggressive behaviour
  • Documentation (including records, and identification)
  • Implementation of care and ongoing monitoring/review
  • Infrastructure (including staffing, facilities, environment)
  • Medical device/equipment
  • Medication
  • Patient accident
  • Self-harming behaviour
  • Treatment, procedure
  • All other categories

Patient Safety Incident data is available via for all NHS trusts within England.
In addition to this data, we also show the current CQC rating of each trust as well as the following data sets where they are applicable to the trust, and data is provided:

  • Top 3 categories of Patient Safety Incident
  • Percentage of A&E attendances dealt with in 4 hours
  • Percentage treated for cancer within 62 days of urgent GP referral
  • Percentage of total beds occupied overnight
  • Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator
  • Number of cancelled critical operations
  • Number of cancelled elective operations
  • Percentage waiting 6+ weeks for diagnostic test
  • Number of mixed-sex accommodation breaches
  • Percentage of patients followed up within 7 days of mental health discharge
  • Number of Never Events and number by category

“It is critical that NHS trusts focus on providing safe and effective care. Patient Safety Incident statistics provide important transparency about all reported safety incidents.

All reported Patient Safety Incidents are either unintended or unexpected incidents which did cause harm, or could have caused harm, to at least one patient.

Recording over 239,000 separate Patient Safety Incidents causing unintended or unexpected harm across NHS England, in just six months, is a number that will concern the public and it is a number which warrants attention and action at the highest levels of NHS management.”

Jason Brady, Partner at Blackwater Law.


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About Blackwater Law:
Blackwater Law is a team of specialist medical negligence and serious personal injury solicitors that operate as part of Holmes & Hills Solicitors.

Blackwater Law solicitors provide compensation claim advice and representation to clients across the country. The team primarily deal with serious medical negligence claims such as those involving misdiagnosis claims, surgical error claims, birth injury claims (e.g. cerebral palsy claims), wrong prescription claims and general hospital negligence claims.

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The NHS Performance Tracker Data:

All data presented on the NHS Performance Tracker section of the Blackwater Law website has been sourced from the NHS Improvement or NHS England websites and will be updated on a regular basis as new data is published by the NHS. Owing to the process required to upload the data there may be a short delay between data being published by NHS Improvement or NHS England and this data being updated on the NHS Performance Tracker section of the Blackwater Law website.

Every effort has been taken to ensure the data on the NHS Performance Tracker section of the Blackwater Law website is accurate; however Blackwater Law has relied on the accuracy of the data as provided by individual NHS trusts to NHS Improvement or NHS England and then the accuracy of the data as published by the same.

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