• Chief executives told to ensure incident reporting systems compatible with NHSI system
  • National patient safety director warned trusts may struggle to meet CQC requirements
  • New national system designed to promote learning from incidents

NHS providers have been warned against purchasing new IT for reporting safety incidents that may not be compatible with a new national system developed by NHS Improvement.

In a letter to chief executives, NHSI’s national director of patient safety Aidan Fowler said trusts looking to procure local incident reporting systems would need to ensure they worked with the new patient safety incident management system.

The new system has been in development for several years. It will replace the 15-year-old national reporting and learning system, and strategic executive information systems, which many trusts currently feed incident reports into.

Dr Fowler asked the chiefs to liaise with NHSI if they were planning to procure between now and July, to ensure their intended purchases were compatible.

He said purchasing an incompatible system would “likely compromise your organisation’s ability to participate in national-level reporting and learning” and “complicate your reporting of notifiable incidents to the Care Quality Commission”, and cause problems with complying with requirements for serious incidents and never events.

HSJ understands there are concerns some suppliers may not cooperate with NHSI on the new system, or seek to develop their own more costly platform.

The new national patient safety incident system is being designed to offer a single service for recording, sharing, and learning, using modern technology and user-friendly tools.

Dr Fowler said a lightweight version was being piloted ahead of a full version going live in the next 12 months.

According to his letter, 99 per cent of the patient safety incidents recorded nationally come from NHS trusts’ local systems, which are provided by a number of independent suppliers.