On 1 June 2012 the key functions and expertise for patient safety developed by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) transferred to the NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority. NHS England states 'The NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority will harness the power of the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS), the world’s most comprehensive database of patient safety information, to identify and tackle important patient safety issues at their root cause'. From 1 April 2016, patient safety became part of NHS improvement through which all Patient Safety Alerts are now issued.

Through the national reporting of medication errors, the medicines most frequently associated with severe harm were identified. These include -
- anticoagulants
- injectable sedatives
- opiates
- insulin
- antibiotics
- chemotherapy agents
- antipsychotics
- infusion fluids
- potassium chloride injection
- oral methotrexate and antiplatelets
Many of these have been the focus of NPSA safety alerts and require particular care when they are prescribed.

Copyright eBook 2019, University of Leeds, Leeds Institute of Medical Education.