National Patient Safety Agency

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National Patient Safety Agency

A non-departmental public body (arm’s length body, quango) of the UK Department of Health (DH) created in 2001 by the DH document Building a Safer NHS for Patients. The NPSA contributes to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing organisations and people working in the health sector, providing a non-punitive and anonymous reporting and learning system for patient-related adverse events, near misses and medical errors. The NPSA also commissions and monitors:
• National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness;
• Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health;
• National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death.
 
From the moment it began, the NPSA consistently underperformed due to poor leadership, which was coupled with ineffective oversight. It was castigated by the Public Accounts Committee in 2006 for providing poor value for money.

National Patient Safety Agency divisions
National Reporting and Learning Service
Aims to reduce risks to patients receiving NHS care and improve safety.

National Clinical Assessment Service 
Supports the resolution of concerns about the performance of individual clinical practitioners to help ensure their practices are safe and valued.

National Research Ethics Service
Protects the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants who are part of clinical trials and other research within the NHS.