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Through analysis of reports of patient safety incidents, and safety information from other sources, we develop advice for the NHS that can help ensure the safety of patients.


Advice is issued to the NHS as and when issues arise, via the Central Alerting System in England and directly to NHS organisations in Wales.


Alerts cover a wide range of topics, from vaccines to patient identification. Types of alerts include Rapid Response Reports, Patient Safety Alerts, and Safer Practice Notices.


We often work in partnership with other healthcare agencies, Royal Colleges and NHS trusts and organisations on the development and delivery of alerts.


Search or browse the directory below for alerts.


Please note: From 1 June 2012 all enquiries related to alerts (Rapid Response Reports, Patient Safety Alerts, Safer Practice Notices etc) should be directed to the Central Alerting System Helpdesk: safetyalerts@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

TitleIssue dateType
Harm from flushing of nasogastric tubes before confirmation of placement22 March 2012Alert
Minimising Risks of Mismatching Spinal, Epidural and Regional Devices with...28 November 2011Alert
Keeping newborn babies with a family history of MCADD safe in the first hours...26 October 2011Alert
The adult patient’s passport to safer use of insulin30 March 2011Alert
Reducing the harm caused by misplaced nasogastric feeding tubes in adults,...10 March 2011Alert
Safer spinal (intrathecal), epidural and regional devices31 January 2011Alert
Essential care after an inpatient fall13 January 2011Alert
Safer ambulatory syringe drivers16 December 2010Alert
Preventing fatalities from medication loading doses25 November 2010Alert
The transfusion of blood and blood components in an emergency 21 October 2010Alert
Laparoscopic surgery: Failure to recognise post-operative deterioration23 September 2010Alert
Prevention of over infusion of intravenous fluid* and medicines in neonates26 August 2010Alert
Reducing treatment dose errors with low molecular weight heparins30 July 2010Alert
Safer administration of insulin16 June 2010Alert
Reducing the risk of retained swabs after vaginal birth and perineal suturing26 May 2010Alert
Checking pregnancy before surgery28 April 2010Alert
Early detection of complications after gastrostomy31 March 2010Alert
Reducing harm from omitted and delayed medicines in hospital24 February 2010Alert
Safer use of intravenous gentamicin for neonates09 February 2010Alert
Vaccine cold storage 21 January 2010Alert