In many cases incidents are grouped and submitted to the NRLS in large batches

# In many cases incidents are grouped and submitted to

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organisations report to the NRLS daily, others quarterly. In many cases, incidents are grouped and submitted to the NRLS in large batches. It should never be assumed that the total numbers of patient safety incidents are representative of totals across the NHS. The reporting culture varies between organisation types: reporting in secondary care is far more common than in primary care, while ambulance and mental health organisations have the most varied reporting patterns. NHS Improvement’s guidance is that organisations should be reporting incidents to the NRLS on a regular basis and at least once a month. Calculation and interpretation of NRLS reporting rates A rate is the frequency of occurrence of a phenomenon in the population under study that is, how often an event happens in a given period of time in the population at risk of the event. For example, if the event is a patient falling in ward A in a given hospital, the population at risk could be all patients admitted to ward A in that hospital. Rates are important in comparing different patient populations and have always been given for the NRLS reporting data. We calculate a reporting rate as:
13 | > Guidance notes on NRLS official statistics publications Reported number of patient safety incidents (numerator) Potential opportunities for these incidents to occur (denominator) Using the example above, this would be calculated as: Number of falls in ward A Number of patients admitted to ward A For this rate to be valid, reliable and therefore meaningful, both the number of patient safety incidents (numerator) and the potential opportunities for those incidents to occur (denominator) need to be as accurate as possible. The falls example above is simplistic for the purposes of illustration; as discussed above known factors affect the number of incidents reported and this will affect the accuracy of the numerator. Additionally there are issues with identifying the denominator that best captures the population at risk; for example, the type of service(s) provided by an organisation and the patient safety incident being examined both affect the population at risk, thus the choice of denominator. NRLS statistics use quarterly KH03 data on average daily overnight bed occupancy (published by NHS England) to estimate total number of bed days for the specified time period of the analysis. Due to the nature of KH03 data this denominator is only appropriate for acute and mental health trusts and a rate currently cannot be calculated for NHS ambulance and community trusts. 5. Contact us for help If you have any questions about the NRLS data collection, the published data or your organisation’s data please contact the NRLS team: