Serious Clinical Incident

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

AIMS Journal, 2010, Vol 22 No 1

A Serious Clinical Incident (SCI) is defined as 'any unintended or unexpected incident which could have harmed or did lead to harm for one or more patients being cared for by the NHS.' Forcing a woman in advanced labour to travel across country when she had booked a home birth, and expected a midwife to attend, is a Serious Clinical Incident and it should be reported. The Trusts, however, do not see it this way. It is, therefore, important that you make a report yourself.

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) collects and analyses information on patient safety incidents in the NHS. It then makes recommendations to reduce the risk of patient safety incidents. The NPSA can be contacted via its website:

http://www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/report-a-patient-safety-incident/

Alternatively you can write to NPSA directly or telephone the Helpline on 0845 601 3012 and state that you are a patient who wishes to report a Serious Clinical Incident.

Tip: if you take a camera or video camera to hospital and you have issues with your care, photograph or film your notes in case you wish to complain. AIMS is hearing from women who are having difficulty getting copies of notes. If you video conversations, you may find that attitudes towards your care or tricky situations change.


The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services..

AIMS Journal articles on the website go back to 1960, offering an important historical record of maternity issues over the past 60 years. Please check the date of the article because the situation that it discusses may have changed since it was published. We are also very aware that the language used in many articles may not be the language that AIMS would use today.

To contact the editors, please email: journal@aims.org.uk

We make the AIMS Journal freely available so that as many people as possible can benefit from the articles. If you found this article interesting please consider supporting us by becoming an AIMS member or making a donation. We are a small charity that accepts no commercial sponsorship, in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial, evidence-based information. You can make donations at Peoples Fundraising. To become an AIMS member or join our mailing list see Join AIMS

AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

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