As part of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration, every GP practice should have an incident policy/procedure in place in the event of an incident, including near-misses and serious incidents (SIs), that take place at the practice.
Please do not confuse with the Quality Alert System, which is for GPs to report service-quality issues to the CCG.
Practice staff should use the new National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) GP e-form to report all patient safety incidents and near-misses, whether they result in harm or not, as soon as they are identified and prior to the investigation commencing.
Reporting incidents to a national central system helps protect patients from avoidable harm by increasing opportunities for the NHS to learn when things go wrong.
The NHS England Patient Safety Domain uses patient safety incident reports submitted to the NRLS to identify key themes and trends and take action at a national level to prevent similar incidents from occurring, often via Patient Safety Alerts.
CCGs now also receive the GP e-form alerts from practices.
By reporting a patient safety incident to the NRLS, you can gain CPD credits. When you report a patient safety incident to the NRLS using the GP e-form, you will automatically be sent a CPD/Serious Event Analysis (SEA) template for appraisal and revalidation. This can also be used as evidence for CQC inspections.
NRLS e-form FAQs for GPs
Reporting patient safety incidents in general practice
Guide for general practice staff on reporting patient safety incidents to the NRLS
Serious Incident (SI) Framework (March 2015) document
CQC guidance for GP practices
Reporting events and Serious Incidents to CQC
It is a requirement of CQC registration that GP practices report all events that indicate, or may indicate, risks to compliance with registration requirements or that may require changes to practice information on the CQC register. For more on the CQC's essential standards of quality and safety, see the website.