Patient Safety in Radiotherapy

Patient Safety Initiative

The Medical Exposures Group (MEG) in UKHSA is tasked with leading on the national patient safety initiative in radiotherapy. One workstream includes the maintenance and development of the national reporting system for radiotherapy errors and near miss events (RTE).

RTE are submitted on a voluntary basis by radiotherapy departments throughout the UK to the National Reporting and Learning System, Learning from Patient Safety Events SystemOnce for Wales Concerns Management System (Datix Cymru) or directly to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). RTE are analysed based on the classification from Towards Safer Radiotherapy and the pathway coding, including safety barriers (failed & effective) and causative factor taxonomy from the Development of Learning from Radiotherapy Errors.

MEG in conjunction with the Patient Safety in Radiotherapy Steering Group (PSRT) provide regular updates on their work via the Safer Radiotherapy E-Bulletin, publish learning from these events, on a triannual basis and summarised on a biennial basis, so their occurrence might be mitigated. The radiotherapy reporting and learning system is a feedback process, which supports a risk-based approach to improving patient safety. To receive notifications of new Safer Radiotherapy publications sign up to e-subscribe.

The remit of the PSRT is to support the coordination of efforts of UKHSA, NHSE, relevant professional bodies and service users to improve patient safety in radiotherapy across the UK as part of the national patient safety initiative in radiotherapy. This is achieved through an agreed annual programme of work. The PSRT provides a forum for the discussion and review of current matters associated with the safety of medical exposure of patients to ionising radiation, and action on findings. MEG provides the chair and secretariat to the PSRT.