Scotland Patient Safety Update

25th February 2020

The NPA is pleased to publish its first 2020 NPA patient safety update for Scottish NPA members. Our updates contain a summary of the most common types of dispensing errors reported to the NPA in recent months using the Scottish Patient Safety Incident Report, guidance for minimising patient safety incidents and information on current hot topics in patient safety.

The full update can be accessed here.

NPA Scottish Patient Safety Incident Reporting Platform

The NPA Patient Safety Incident Reporting service for Scottish NPA members and non-members provides a thorough, systematic and efficient way for pharmacists and members of the pharmacy team to record patient safety incidents; including near misses, prescribing errors and dispensing errors. The reports can be printed, stored electronically or automatically sent to the superintendent pharmacist, to ensure procedures are identified to improve the quality of patient care provided in your pharmacy. NPA members and non-members can use the Incident Reporting Service to report all their safety incidents.  If you are using additional electronic or paper systems, you may use this system for specific significant incidents as additional evidence of thorough review.

New style report

This report improves upon the previous publications and covers current hot topics in patient safety including a focus on insulin, NSAIDs, valproate and sepsis.

There is also an analysis/summary of the most common patient safety incidents in Scottish reports submitted to the NPA during the second half of 2019.

Medication error categories and incidents reported during July to December of 2019

The main categories of errors reported were those involving medication errors of wrong strength or wrong drug accounting for 61% of errors reported.

Incidents involving the patient receiving medicines for a different patient accounted for 17%.

Degree of harm

The degree of harm caused to patients reported as ‘none’ (91%) continues to make up the majority of reports.  In this period ‘Low harm’ accounted for (9%) of reports. There were no reports of’ Serious harm’.

NPA patient safety resources

The full range of the NPA patient safety resources can be accessed here.

NPA members

Independent community pharmacies in Scotland who are NPA members, can contact the Pharmacy Services Team at the NPA for further information, advice and/or support on any patient safety or pharmacy topic/matter by:

Tel: 01727 891800 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am to 1pm Sat)

Email: (anytime)


Independent community pharmacies in Scotland who are currently non-members of the NPA can use the NPA Scottish Patient Safety Incident Reporting Platform at

For further information please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891800 or email at: