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Maternity Services

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adverse events have been recorded in NHS maternity services (a) in England and (b) in each strategic health authority area in each year since 1997, broken down by type of adverse event. (157397)

The National Patient Safety Agency collects reports of patient safety incidents on the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). All national health service trusts have been able to report into this system since late 2004. Complete statistics relevant to this question are available for the years October 2005—September 2006 and for October 2006—September 2007. Staff usually report patient safety incidents before any further investigation or follow-up has taken place.

The information requested is set out in the following tables.

Around 98 per cent. of incidents reported were classed as ‘no harm’, ‘low harm’ or ‘moderate harm’ in the view of the person completing the incident report.

The information should be considered in the context that there were 635,748 women having babies in 2006. All of these women also have many episodes of care.

Incidents broken down by incident types occurring in maternity related specialties.

Date incident was submitted to the NRLS

October 2005-September 2006

October 2006-September 2007

Access, admission, transfer, discharge (including missing patient)

6,938

8,779

Clinical assessment (including diagnosis, scans, tests, assessments)

3,640

5,349

Consent, communication, confidentiality

2,625

3,668

Disruptive, aggressive behaviour

46

47

Documentation (including records, identification)

3,351

4,568

Implementation of care and ongoing monitoring / review

1,128

1,751

Infection control incident

356

480

Infrastructure (including staffing, facilities, environment)

4,469

6,536

Medical device/equipment

1,500

2,085

Medication

2,081

2,789

Patient abuse (by staff/third party)

43

57

Patient accident

1169

1,617

Self-harming behaviour

25

26

Treatment, procedure

13,695

21,104

Other

2,923

4,915

Not stated

12

30

Total

44,001

63,801

Adverse events occurring in maternity services and reported to the NRLS by NHS trusts in England, by strategic health authority (SHA) and by type of event.

Incidents occurring in maternity related specialties broken down by SHAs

Date incident was submitted to the NRLS

SHA code

October 2005-September 2006

October 2006-September 2007

North East SHA

1,785

2,684

North West SHA

5,412

8,265

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

5,593

6,202

East Midlands SHA

4,072

4,373

West Midlands SHA

1,291

5,050

East of England SHA

5,708

7,629

London SHA

8,124

13,205

South East Coast SHA

4,449

4,953

South Central SHA

4,013

6,197

South West SHA

3,529

5,241

Not specified

25

2

Total

44,001

63,801