NHS Patient Safety Incidents increase by 8% year on year

Data released by NHS England this week has revealed a rise in patient safety incidents reported at hospitals and health centres.

Between October 2018 and March 2019, there were 1,004,014 incidents reported, compared to 929,740 Patient Safety Incidents in the previous period covering October 2017 to March 2018, an increase of 8%.

Jason Brady, partner at Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors said

“It is very concerning that there have been this many Patient Safety Incidents recorded as having caused harm to patients and an increase in the number of such incidents causing death. Patients appreciate that the NHS is facing ever increasing pressure, nevertheless, it is imperative that patients receive safe care and have confidence in receiving such care. If errors or mistakes are made in the safe delivery of care, the implications for patients can be life-changing, for them and their loved-ones.”

Patient Safety Incident Data

  Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 Oct 2018 to Mar 2019 % change
Total 929,740 1,004,014 8%
Death 2,138 2,113 -1%
Severe harm 2,512 2,484 -1%
Moderate harm 23,517 23,267 -1%
Low harm 205,555 238,478 16%
No harm 696,018 737,672 6%

 

Trusts with the highest number of deaths caused by Patient Safety Incidents

Trust name Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 Oct 2018 to Mar 2019 % change
1. Barnet, Enfield And Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust 55 77 5%
2. Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 102 75 -25%
3. Rotherham Doncaster And South Humber NHS Foundation Trust 4 61 1775%
4. Tees, Esk And Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust 10 61 350%
5. Avon And Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 50 58 -2%
6. Devon Partnership NHS Trust 31 52 68%
7. Cheshire And Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 43 49 12%
8. East London NHS Foundation Trust 31 48 97%
9. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 36 48 33%
10. Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust 54 45 13%

 

Trusts with the highest number of Patient Safety Incidents causing harm

Trust name Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 Oct 2018 to Mar 2019 % change
1. University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 1456 15059 934%
2. Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 71 5655 7865%
3. Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 4127 4564 11%
4. Royal Devon And Exeter NHS Foundation Trust 1571 3677 134%
5. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 3211 3641 13%
6. University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust 1607 3183 98%
7. University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust 2526 2883 14%
8. Coventry And Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust 2735 2851 4%
9. North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust 2153 2593 20%
10. The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2504 2581 3%

 

Trusts with the highest increase in the number of Patient Safety Incidents

Trust name Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 Oct 2018 to Mar 2019 % change
1. South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust 22 3572 16136%
2. Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 1808 9058 401%
3. Surrey And Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 618 2094 239%
4. Tavistock And Portman NHS Foundation Trust 1 3 200%
5. The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 287 655 128%
6. East Suffolk And North Essex NHS Foundation Trust 3906 8455 116%
7. Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust 496 1061 114%
8. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust 5707 11841 107%
9. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust 3173 6441 103%
10. Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust 711 1295 82%

 

Trusts with the highest number of total reported Patient Safety Incidents

Trust name Oct 2017 to Mar 2018 Oct 2018 to Mar 2019 % change
1. University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 13470 22048 64%
2. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust 19897 19048 -4%
3. Barts Health NHS Trust 15779 16720 6%
4. University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust 12401 13312 7%
5. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 13679 12864 -6%
6. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 11243 12132 8%
7. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 11971 12119 1%
8. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust 5707 11841 107%
9. Guy’s And St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust 9986 11449 15%
10. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 12058 10778 -11%

What is a Patient Safety Incident?

All NHS Trusts are obliged to report any occurrence of a Patient Safety Incident, defined as “any unintended or unexpected incident that could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients receiving NHS-funded healthcare”.

Patient Safety Incidents encompass a wide range of errors, accidents and unforeseen issues in patient care, including medication or prescription errors, pressure ulcers, medical device or equipment failures and surgical errors, among many others. All Patient Safety Incidents are recorded against the level of harm that occurred as a result of the incident, ranging from no harm through to death. The defined levels of harm are:

  • No harm – where no harm or damage was caused to the patient
  • Low harm – extra observation or treatment was required as a result of the incident
  • Moderate harm – requiring extra treatment including extra surgical intervention, cancelling treatment, transfer to another area and short-term harm as a result of the incident
  • Severe harm – permanent or long-term harm as a result of the incident
  • Death – where death has occurred as a result of the incident

NHS Tracker

Key performance data for all NHS trusts in England can be found on the Blackwater Law NHS Performance Tracker at https://blackwaterlaw.co.uk/nhs-performance-tracker/ which is updated regularly as new data is published.

To use the tracker on your own website, you can use the following code:
<iframe src=”https://blackwaterlaw.co.uk/nhs-performance-tracker/” scrolling=”yes” frameborder=”0″ width=”636″ height=”700″ ></iframe>