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Patient Safety - Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF)

Every day more than a million people are treated safely in the NHS. Occasionally, things do go wrong, or an unexpected event occurs.

These are known as patient safety incidents. A patient safety incident is any unintended or unexpected incident which could have, or did, lead to harm for one or more patients receiving healthcare, and can range in scale from the most minor to the other end of the scale.

The Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) is being adopted by the whole of the NHS and a new way to manage patient safety incidents. Replacing the current Serious Incident Framework (SIF), it sets a clear direction for responding to patient safety incidents, focusing on the system in which incidents occur, understanding how they happen and avoiding blame.

Warrington and Halton Hospitals introduced the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PISRF), on 1 September 2023. PSIRF sets out new guidance on how NHS organisations respond to patient safety incidents and ensures compassionate engagement with those affected. It supports the key principles of strengthening our patient safety system and culture, focusing on understanding how incidents happen, rather than apportioning blame, allowing for more effective learning, and ultimately safer care for patients.

This policy explains the way that patient safety incidents are responded to and how patient safety investigations are undertaken in NHS funded care.

This plan helps Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals to identify our most significant patient safety risks and make sure they are fully investigated according to the proper standards and that we learn from them. We will always be open and honest about incidents that have occurred. In the NHS, this is known as Duty of Candour.