2.8 Serious Incident

The NHS Serious Incident Framework should be read in conjunction with the Never Events Policy and Framework. The Serious Incident Framework is not a substitute for safeguarding. Where safeguarding is indicated a safeguarding referral must be made, however a root cause analysis under the Serious Incident Framework may be considered appropriate response to a safeguarding enquiry.

Broadly speaking there are three scenarios:

  • NHS identifies a safeguarding concern, for example through staff at Accident and Emergency seeing signs of physical abuse. This may warrant a safeguarding referral to the Local Authority but would not be routinely recorded as an SI.
  • If there are allegations against healthcare staff within the provider of an adult at risk, then a safeguarding referral and SI would need to be declared. Equally if there is serious patient against patient abuse.
  • Lastly, there are incidents that are reported on the Strategic Executive Information System (STEIS) that are not safeguarding issues. Investigations will still be undertaken but without referral for a safeguarding. This is obviously dependent on the situation.