Should I report an adverse incident if the patient was unharmed?

Yes. It's important to flag up all incidents that might point to weaknesses in the system or perhaps raise a concern about a practitioner. Another patient may not be as lucky if the same problem happens again.

In England, you will also be expected to help your employer comply with its legal obligations under the statutory duty of candour. This defines a notifiable patient safety incident as one where a patient suffered (or could have suffered) unintended harm that results in death, severe harm, moderate harm or prolonged psychological harm.

In Scotland, the duty of candour is not triggered for near misses. However, near misses may still need to be reviewed by organisations. Organisations may have their own pathway for reporting near misses, so they should be reported to the relevant person in the organisation - such as the senior partner in a GP practice or the clinical lead in a department.

More information can be found in our guide to the duty of candour in Scotland.

This page was correct at publication on 06/04/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.