A national approach to learning from adverse events through reporting and review

An adverse event can be defined as an event that could have caused, or did result in, harm to people or groups of people.

Following a detailed review of NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s adverse event management in the spring of 2012, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy instructed Healthcare Improvement Scotland to develop a national framework and programme of review. This should support NHS boards to learn from these events in order to minimise the risk of them happening again.

This programme of work will:

  • develop a consistent national approach to identification, investigation, reporting and learning from adverse events based upon national and international good practice
  • provide public assurance on the appropriate management of  adverse events through a rolling programme of NHS board reviews.

Our resources


Learning and improvement report

Read our learning and improvement report for detailed information on our work to help improve adverse events management across NHS Scotland.

Management of adverse events review visits

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about about the focus, purpose and procedure of our review visits to NHS boards.

For more information or if you have any further questions, please email the adverse events team at: