This blog explains in detail all about the meaning of a ‘significant event’ in the context of an medical appraisal.
The GMC say: “A significant event (also known as an untoward or critical incident) is any unintended or unexpected event, which could or did lead to harm of one or more patients. This includes incidents which did not cause harm but could have done, or where the event should have been prevented.” (GMC, 2012b, p.9)
Experience has shown that there is some confusion about what should be included as Significant Events in the appraisal and revalidation portfolio.
- The GMC definition of Significant Events (SEs) includes critical incidents, significant untoward incidents and/or serious incidents requiring investigation. By definition, these are serious events where significant harm could have, or did, come to a patient or patients.
- The GMC consider the type of significant event analysis (SEA) routinely undertaken in primary care to be a quality improvement activity (QIA). You should include general practice significant event analysis as a form of QIA, except where the event crosses the threshold of significant harm described above.
- All GMC level SEs in which you have been personally named or involved must be declared, and the reflections on them and actions agreed as a result must be provided in this section of supporting information and reflected on during your annual appraisal.
- All GMC level SEs should be written up on a standardised pro forma, formally analysed to ensure that the root causes are understood and changes are made to protect patients, and discussed with colleagues to maximise and share learning according to GMC requirements.
- If you have not been personally named, or involved, in a GMC level SE during the year, you should sign a statement to confirm there were none.
- It is best practice to demonstrate that you are aware of how SEs are captured in the organisations within which you work, across the whole of your scope of work. You should know how to report any SEs that you become aware of and how to ensure, as far as possible, that you find out if you have been named, or involved, in any.
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