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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
Reducing the risks of tourniquets left on after finger and toe surgery09 December 2009Alert
Safer lithium therapy01 December 2009Alert
Being open: communicating patient safety incidents with patients, their...19 November 2009Alert
Oxygen safety in hospitals | Rapid Response Report29 September 2009Alert
Minimising risks of suprapubic catheter insertion (adults only)29 July 2009Alert
Risk to patient safety of not using the NHS Number as the national identifier...24 June 2009Alert
Preventing delay to follow-up for patients with glaucoma11 June 2009Alert
Preventing harm to children from parents with mental health needs28 May 2009Alert
Female urinary catheters causing trauma to adult males30 April 2009Alert
Throat Packs28 April 2009Alert
Mitigating surgical risk in patients undergoing hip arthroplasty for fractures...11 March 2009Alert
Reducing risk of harm from oral bowel cleansing solutions19 February 2009Alert
WHO Surgical Safety Checklist26 January 2009Alert
Avoiding wrong side burr holes-craniotomy11 December 2008Alert
Reducing risk of overdose with midazolam injection in adults09 December 2008Alert
Resuscitation in mental health and learning disability settings26 November 2008Alert
Risk of omitting Hib when administering Infanrix-IPB+Hib12 October 2008Alert
Haemodialysis patients: risks associated with water supply (hydrogen peroxide)30 September 2008Alert
Clean hands save lives02 September 2008Alert
Vinca alkaloid minibags (adult|adolescent units)11 August 2008Alert