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FOI 2023 38 - Covid & Patient Safety


Information Requested:

Please can you confirm how nosocomial Covid infections and deaths are identified and reported to PHW by each of the 7 health boards in Wales?
Has this changed over the course of the pandemic?

What is the definition of a Patient Safety Incident?
How are Patient Safety Incidents logged by each of the 7 health boards?
Was this process used throughout the pandemic?


Information provided for the answer:

Thank you for your recent request dated 28th March 2023.

Healthcare organisations in Wales do not actively report nosocomial COVID-19 infections or nosocomial COVID-19 deaths to Public Health Wales. 
Public Health Wales has access to the laboratory data and the hospital administration data for all the healthcare organisations in Wales. We link that data and apply surveillance definitions based on the time difference between hospital admission date and sample collection date, to categorise infections as likely community acquired, indeterminate, probable and definite nosocomial. 
We are also able to access date of death from the hospital administration data and have used this to undertake analysis of all -cause mortality in the 28 days following COVID-19 infection. In this analysis we do not have access to cause of death, but are able to report whether the patient has died within the timeframe following their positive COVID-19 test.  
The same process has been used throughout the pandemic, but it is influenced by the amount of COVID-19 testing, which has changed over the pandemic period.


The definition of a patient safety incident is when an unintended or unexpected incident could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients receiving NHS-funded healthcare.
Patient Safety Incidents are logged by each of the 7 health boards Via local policies and procedures 
This process was used throughout the pandemic where possible.


If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of the decision, you should write to the Corporate Complaints Manager, Public Health Wales NHS Trust, 3, Number 2, Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4BZ.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint or review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Trust. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner for Wales
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 029 2067 8400