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NHS severe safety incidents increase significantly

New data obtained by APIL shows a significant increase in the number of severe safety incidents in the NHS.

Between 2012/13 and 2022/23, there was a 30% rise in the number of patient safety incidents reported to have resulted in severe harm or death. This increase is six times higher than the rise in claims. During this period, the number of clinical negligence claims received by the NHS rose by just 5%, according to NHS Resolution.


14,383 patient safety incidents resulted in severe harm or death in 2022/23 – an average of 39 every day. 745,610 incidents resulted in any degree of harm. In the same year, the NHS received just 13,511 clinical negligence claims. This suggests that less than 2% of safety incidents involving patient harm result in a clinical negligence claim against the NHS.


The figures only cover the NHS in England.

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