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Welcome to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine's Safety Resources hub. Here you will find information and resources about alerts, safety resources, safety in the Emergency Department and safety events.

This page is managed by the Safer Care Committee, which is part of the Quality in Emergency Care Committee: further information about these committees can be found on the RCEM ‘Structure and Governance’ Committees pages.

Available here

The QECC has produced a series of strategy documents, explaining the role of RCEM, and these committees, in improving patient care. These are:

If you would like to comment on the content of these pages, or become involved in these committees please contact the chairs of the committees.

What is Patient Safety?

Patient Safety emphasises the reporting, analysis, and prevention of medical error that often leads to adverse healthcare events. Providing safer care involves:

  • Identifying and managing patient-related risks
  • Reporting and analysing incidents
  • Addressing complaints and claims
  • Learning from and following-up on incidents
  • Implementing solutions to minimise the risk of incidents recurring.

Why is it important?

Patient safety is a serious public health issue. The World Health Organisation estimates that in developed countries as many as one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care.

Between July 2009 and June 2010 in England and Wales, over 800,000 incidents that did or could have harmed patients in acute hospital settings were reported to the National Patient Safety Agency1.

1. NRLS Quarterly Data Workbook (NPSA, Feb 2011)

What is the Royal College of Emergency Medicine doing about patient safety?

The College has established a Safer Care Committee which is undertaking the following:

  • Developing and disseminating patient safety and risk management strategies for the speciality of Emergency Medicine
  • Advising and collaborating with NRLS, NICE, DH, CQC, the Royal Colleges and other national bodies who have an interest in risk management and patient safety in Emergency Departments
  • Developing and identifying resources for patient safety
  • Informing Fellows and Members of patient safety research, key publications and resources
  • Reviewing of significant incident reports in emergency medicine

To see the terms of reference and committee members e-mail