Patient safety guidance to avoid 'near misses'

Guidance has been published to enable general practice teams to learn from patient safety incidents and 'near misses' according to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA).

The significant event audit (SEA) was established in the mid 1990s and is included in the quality framework. Problems could include a wrongly administered MMR vaccination or wrongly prescribed medication.

An initial scoping exercise by the NPSA found that the quality of SEAs was variable and could be improved.

This new guidance aims to raise awareness of how to conduct an SEA in seven simple stages so that general practice teams can learn and improve the quality of patient care.

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