NHS England took over the key functions and expertise for patient safety, previously the responsibility of the National Patient Safety Agency, in May 2012. NHSE has now published a revised framework for serious incident management in the NHS. Among the points addressed specifically to commissioners are that they should:

  • have a designated member of staff (the officer) and a deputy, who are responsible for receipt of serious incident reports from providers;
  • specify clear requirements for responding to serious incidents in contracts with all providers;
  • regularly review serious incidents with providers as part of the clinical quality review process and any related arrangements for quality surveillance and assurance;
  • ensure that serious incident trend data and other relevant statistical analysis methods inform quality reviews and commissioning decisions;
  • publish information relating to all serious incidents, including never events, within annual reports and other public facing documents such as governing body reports, including data on the numbers and types of incidents, ensuring patient confidentiality is respected;

Those CCG staff who bear the responsibility for receiving SI reports should ensure that they and all relevant colleagues have read the new framework and are familiar with their obligations.