Improving Safety

Improving Patient and Staff Safety

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) supports the NHS in England to reduce harm by learning from claims. In this unique role we are helping the NHS to build a safety and learning culture through;  

Saying Sorry

Saying sorry when things go wrong is vital for the patient, their family and carers, as well as to support learning and improve safety. Of those that have suffered harm as a result of their healthcare, fifty percent wanted an apology and explanation. Patients, their families and carers should receive a meaningful apology - one that is a sincere expression of sorrow or regret for the harm that has occurred. Find out more here.

Duty of Candour

The Duty of Candour is a legal duty on hospital, community and mental health trusts to inform and apologise to patients if there have been mistakes in their care that have led to significant harm.

Duty of Candour aims to help patients receive accurate, truthful information from health providers. Read our Duty of Candour Guidance here and to download our powerpoint presentation click here.

Learning from claims 

An important aspect of our work is to share information on the learning from claims with individual trusts and across the NHS to support learning and improvements in safety.
We have published an analysis of Ten Years of Maternity Claims and a report on Stillbirth Claims designed to assist the NHS, and in particular health professionals responsible for the care of women and their babies, to improve safety. An analysis of the claims related to medical devices and equipment is available.

Ask and offers from the frontline 

The Safety and Learning Team is enabling Trusts to post requests and offers of resources/materials/knowledge/expertise/training for sharing with the wider NHS.  This will either be an ‘Ask’ or an ‘Offer’. Following events to progress successful bids as part of the Incentivisation Scheme for Sign up to Safety, we have captured ‘Ask and Offer’ details below from participants. Other Trusts who did not participate may also post up their ‘Ask and Offers’ on the relevant sheets. Trusts can then proactively contact counterparts as required.  
If you wish to post  an 'Ask' or 'Offer' on any safety and learning area, you can have this added to the general 'Ask' or 'Offer' sheet by contacting: NB: Be sure to include your email contact details.
Example of an Ask: “Does anyone have a fractured neck of femur care pathway to share?”  
Example of an Offer: “Happy to share divisional claims report template.” 
Any contacts/queries on this page can be made to:

The Safety and Learning Service

If you are a member of the NHS Litigation Authority we offer a Safety and Learning Service delivered by our Safety and Learning Leads. We provide you with:
  • Information and analysis in relation to your organisation's claims data on our new secure extranet - you can feedback your comments to help us improve this on this site
  • A Safety and Learning Library of best practice guidance including case studies derived from root cause analyses of the national database of claims, thematic guidance and useful links - these will be developed further by our new Safety and Learning Leads - you can feedback your comments to help us improve this on this site
  • Local network events to support you and bring you together with other NHS organisations; a programme of activity is being led by our panel solicitors 
  • Targeted workshops for a number of key groups; Boards and leaders to help prioritise activity related to reducing claims, risk and claims managers and clinicians

Claims Scorecards

For information on claims scorecards (clinical and non-clinical) which are an interactive anaylsis tool to help you understand your claims profile please click here. 


If you would like to be added to our contact database please register here.

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