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Reporting patient safety incidents

NPA Essential

Reporting patient safety incidents

The importance of reporting patient safety incidents

Pharmacists are reminded they have an obligation to record and report all patient safety incidents. All pharmacies should have procedures in place for recording all incidents and near-misses, and for reporting incidents.

Pharmacies registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) have to meet the GPhC 'Standards for registered pharmacies, September 2012'. This includes:

  • Standard 1.1 – 'The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed'
  • Standard 1.2 – 'The safety and quality of pharmacy services are reviewed and monitored'

GPhC inspectors will expect to see evidence that pharmacies are complying with these standards, including having standard operating procedures (SOPs) for dealing with patient safety incidents, and copies of incident reports and near miss logs. Community pharmacies in England with an NHS contract are also obliged to report patient safety incidents as part of the clinical governance requirements of the NHS Terms of Service as set out in the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013.

Community pharmacies in England with fewer than 50 branches can use the NPA Patient Safety Incident report form to report incidents.

Incidents reported using this form do not need to be reported separately to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The NPA will forward the information on to NHS Improvement (previously NHS England) in an anonymised format.

To report an incident and to access resources, visit

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NPA Essential