National Patient Safety Alerts in adult social care

Page last updated: 19 December 2022

National Patient Safety Alerts are notices from NHS England that share information about risks that can cause serious harm or death. They set out what health or care organisations need to do to reduce the risk.

You can sign up to NHS England's national system that cascades alerts and other safety notices from one place. These include important public health messages and safety critical information and guidance. The system is called the Central Alerting System and the alerts are often referred to as CAS alerts.

The alerts give instructions on what providers of health or social care need to do to reduce the risk.

Our guidance for providers on meeting the regulations states: "Providers must comply with relevant Patient Safety Alerts, recalls and rapid response reports issued from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and through the Central Alerting System (CAS)".

CAS alerts include safety information and notices that have been shared by NHS and regulatory organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), NHS England and NHS Improvement and Department of Health and Social Care.

What you need to consider

  • Ensure that you can keep people safe by acting on all relevant alerts and updates.
  • You must be able to demonstrate how you receive and share relevant information with your staff.
  • Keep a record of any action taken. For example, you may decide to keep a log of all relevant alerts received and any action you took as a result.
  • You should be able to demonstrate that your systems ensure you act on alerts quickly and, where appropriate, that the system can refer a person back to their GP for a review or to get further support.

As well as acting on alerts, you can also report any adverse incidents relating to medicines and devices using the Yellow Card Scheme.

See our guidance on learning from safety incidents.

Examples of previous safety alerts

Examples of medicines that can be harmful in pregnancy: